Answers Corp files for bankruptcy to cut $471 million in debt

(Reuters) - Answers Corp [AFCVHA.UL], which owns the and Multiply websites, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday with a plan to swap ownership of the company to creditors who are owed about $540 million, according to court documents.

Answers was acquired by Apax Partners, a European private equity firm, for about $900 million in 2014.

The company’s namesake website offers user-generated answers on a range of topics, such as “how can you cook a cucumber?” and “does mercury in a thermometer go bad?”

The company rebranded itself last year as Multiply, a “fan engagement platform” that connects celebrities and their followers.

St Louis-based Answers also owns ForeSee, which provides customer surveys, and Webcollage, a platform for website publishing.

Under the company’s plan, Answers will lower its debt by $471 million, according to documents filed in Manhattan’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The plan has already been approved by 98 percent of Answers creditors.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Bill Rigby