PurchasePro Files For Bankruptcy

LEXINGTON, KY— According to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader, PurchasePro.com is on its way to Chapter 11. The software firm founded by Lexington native Charles “Junior” Johnson went belly-up Sept. 12 and filed for bankruptcy protection, cutting a deal with federal regulators investigating its accounting practices and agreeing to sell its assets. Although the Las Vegas-based company never turned a profit, PurchasePro brought lasting legacies here. The Lexington Herald-Leader credited the procurement firm for building a local baseball stadium, high school gymnasium, and expanding a video rental chain. In all, more than $200 million flowed into the Bluegrass State from sales of PurchasePro stock. But by August, PurchasePro confirmed that federal regulators were investigating the companys accounting practices, including a deal Johnson struck with America Online in March 2000. When the three-year agreement was first announced, AOL said it would use PurchasePro to provide electronic commerce capabilities to its business customers. The Nasdaq stock market took steps to de-list PurchasePro a few weeks later, citing the companys failure to file a quarterly financial statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. PurchasePro Chairman and CEO Richard Clemmer vowed at the time to fight the de-listing, but announced Sept. 12 that he would instead sell the company to Perfect Commerce, a private firm in Palo Alto, CA. Financial details of the proposed sale were not disclosed. In its bankruptcy filing, PurchasePro claimed assets of $41.94 million and debts of $20.06 million. SOURCE: Lexington Herald-Leader