Tribune leaves bankruptcy after 4 yrs

Published: Tuesday | January 1, 2013 Comments 0

Tribune Company emerged from a Chapter 11 restructuring yesterday, more than four years after the media company sought bankruptcy protection.

The reorganised company is starting with a new board of directors and new ownership that includes senior creditors Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon and Company and JPMorgan Chase and Company.

Tribune closed on a new, $1.1-billion senior secured term loan and a $300-million revolving credit line. The loan will fund payments required under the reorganisation plan, and the credit line will fund ongoing operations.

The company also will issue about 100 million shares of class A and class B stocks to former creditors, along with warrants to buy the shares. Class B shareholders will have limited voting rights and will not be able to vote for directors.

The new board of directors includes Bruce Karsh, Ken Liang, Peter Murphy, Ross Levinsohn, Craig A. Jacobson, Peter Liguori and Eddy Hartenstein.

mixed profitable assets

"Tribune emerges from the bankruptcy process as a multimedia company with a great mix of profitable assets, strong brands in major markets and a much-improved capital structure," said Hartenstein, Tribune's chief executive officer.

The Chicago Tribune reported late Sunday that Liguori, a former TV executive at Discovery and Fox, is expected to be named chief executive of the reorganised Tribune Co.

Tribune, which was founded in 1847, publishes some of the best-known newspapers in the United States, including the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and the Chicago Tribune. It also owns WGN in Chicago and 22 other television stations, as well as the WGN radio station.

The company sought bankruptcy protection in 2008, less than a year after billionaire developer Sam Zell led an $8-billion leveraged buyout that left the company with $13 billion in debt.

- AP

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