Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

Media Giant Tribune Co. Exits Bankruptcy After 4 Years

Tribune Co. has had a rough four years. The company, which owns numerous television stations and newspapers, filed for bankruptcy back in 2008.

This week, Tribune announced that after four years, its restructuring is complete and it is exiting bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reports. It will be doing so with more than $1 billion in loans, a new board of directors, and an uncertain future.

Tribune's newspapers took a hit when print media sales began to decline. As a result, the company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008.

Companies that file under Chapter 11 must create a reorganization plan describing how they intend to cut costs and pay their creditors. The resulting restructuring usually involves closing branches, laying off workers, renegotiating contracts, and selling assets.

Both the bankruptcy court and the Federal Communications Commission approved Tribune's reorganization plan earlier in the year. Under the plan, senior creditors JPMorgan Chase, Angelo Gordon & Co., and Oaktree Capital Management will take the reins. The company was able to secure a $1.1 billion loan to finance the restructuring and a $300 million loan to finance ongoing operations.

Since the newspaper industry is still struggling, a sale of Tribune's papers is rumored to be on the horizon. Rupert Murdoch and David Geffen have been named as possible buyers.

Meantime, the company will move forward with a new board of directors. "It took a long time to get here," Ken Liang, a managing director at Oaktree and a new board member, told the Tribune. "It was a tough restructuring. We're pretty excited about the exit."

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