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Napster Assets Up for Auction

August 11, 2002

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The assets of file-sharing service Napster Inc. went up for auction Friday with an asking price of $25 million and a deadline only eight business days away.

Trenwith Securities, a Costa Mesa-based securities firm, was hired by Napster’s creditors to help generate interest between now and the Aug. 21 bid deadline. Trenwith has been pitching to everyone from venture capitalists, music retailers and media firms to major record labels that drove Napster into bankruptcy this year.

But those interested will have to outbid German publishing giant Bertelsmann, which has promised to bid an additional $9 million at the auction to be held Aug. 27, bringing the total value of its bid to more than $100 million. Bertelsmann advanced Napster, which boasted some 60 million users at its zenith, more than $85 million in loans and is funding the Redwood City, Calif.-based firm’s operations during its bankruptcy reorganization.

The creditors committee named by the bankruptcy judge, however, is hoping it can do better with Trenwith’s help.

The committee, which includes the law firm of former Napster lawyer David Boies and some music and software companies, thinks the judge might not count most of Bertelsmann’s initial $85 million, in which case the winning bidder could put up as few as $25 million.

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On the Net:

Napster: http://www.napster.com

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