Axium unit sold at auction

Staffing branch draws $8.1 mil

Related story: Axium is seeking a buyer

Ensemble Chimes Global, the staffing arm of bankrupt payroll services company Axium, was sold at auction Wednesday for nearly $8.1 million.

MPS Group, a staffing company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., bought the unit, according to court-appointed trustee Howard Ehrenberg.

The only other bidder was Barry Olson -- original founder and former president of ECG -- in conjunction with Vedior North America Llc.

Assets included in the auction are ECG's proprietary software program known as RightsMax, which manages licensing agreements for intellectual properties, including film, video and DVD, as well as the company's related intellectual property, customer contracts and property leases.

ECG was sold to Axium in February for $80 million, said Ehrenberg, a partner at Sulmeyer¬Kupetz in Los Angeles.

Axium filed for liquidation this month under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The sudden closure of the company left employees with paychecks that they could not cash and companies with funds in accounts that were frozen.

Sales procedures for the Axium entertainment business are scheduled to be presented for approval during a court hearing today, followed by a sale one week later. Ruben Rodriguez -- former president of Axium International -- is in first with a "stalking horse" bid of $2.5 million, Ehrenberg said.