Reader's Digest UK collapses in debt

The company which once published the biggest magazine in the world has said its UK subsidiary has filed an administration proceeding.

Reader's Digest UK filed for administration to speed resolution of the parent company's US bankruptcy, the firm said.

The action follows the company's failure to get British regulatory approval to fund a £125 million pension deficit.

In a statement, the firm said its British subsidiary is unable to meet its debts and sustain its operations". The parent company, the Reader's Digest Association Inc., is seeking to leave Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.

The company said the action to isolate the British unit would allow the parent company "to emerge from Chapter 11 promptly."

The Reader's Digest magazine, which once sold in its millions and graced thousands of dentist's waiting rooms all over the world, was the original media aggregator, nicking and condensing bits of stories and news from loads of different sources.

Unfortunately, the Reader's Digest became a bit like the Werther's Original of the publishing world, being favoured mainly by elderly people. As ageing subscribers have passed away, so has the magazine's popularity.

The news is likely to be welcomed by environmental oppontents of junk mail and postpersons.