A global market leader in LGBTI publishing has gone into administration.
German publishing house Bruno Gmünder is best known for publishing Spartacus International Gay Guide, the world’s best-selling gay travel book, as well as sexy art books.
Last week, it was already announced their German top magazine, Männer, would stop its print issues and switch to being online only.
But now news broke the company filed for bancruptcy with the Charlottenburg district court in Berlin on 15 March.
It is the second time in three years Bruno Gmünder went bust.
In 2014, the publisher first filed for bancruptcy.
On 1 November of the same year, Bruno Gmünder was rescued by Frank Zahn, who bought all partnership shares in the company.
He wanted to restructure the publisher, in order to make it sustainable.
Bruno Gmünder completed two restructuring efforts: opening a new, modern shop in the heart of Berlin, and getting the publishing branch fit for the future.
In other areas, the process is still outstanding; Zahn wanted to provide money to drive the change.
But his unexpected death in February saw the company slip into a cash crisis which they cannot solve on their own.
As of today (21 March), Bruno Gmünder say they will continue operations.
‘We are doing our utmost to secure the company’s future in the long term,’ they said in a statement for Männer.
Bruno Gmünder is now looking for investors; the aim is to save the business as a whole, with all branches intact.
For Kriss Rudolph, the former editor-in-chief of Männer who left the magazine early this year, the bancruptcy does not come as a surprise.
‘On one hand, in February, the publisher’s CEO died, and he bought the publishing house three years ago,’ he told Gay Star News.
‘And it was ever so often, punctually, that he, Frank Zahn, would have to put money from his private funds into the publisher.’
When Zahn died, Rudolph said he already wondered where the money would come from.
He said he felt something was amiss last summer when his invoices were paid later and later. Rudolph also said he is still owed his last invoice.
Last fall, Multimedia Platforms in the US, publishers of Next and Frontiers, announced that it had gone into administration.
Yesterday, GSN reported that Millivres Prowler Ltd had gone into administration but had managed to sell its best-known title GT (Gay Times) to a new publishing company.
New York Post reported last week that leading US titles Out and Advocate are up for sale, although publishers Here Media have declined to comment.
Gay Star News has contacted Bruno Gmünder for further comment.