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Archive for Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tribune Co. files reorganization plan

October 24, 2010

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— The day after its chief executive resigned, troubled Tribune Co. said Saturday that it filed a reorganization plan in U.S. bankruptcy court, designed to keep the newspaper and broadcasting company in one piece while cutting its debt by turning ownership over to the holders of its massive loans.

The plan, which the company noted must still be approved by its creditors, is the same as previously announced settlement agreements endorsed by a mediator and a group of unsecured creditors including Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase.

It “maximizes the value of the bankruptcy estates, preserves all stakeholders’ legitimate entitlements and enables the company to conclude its bankruptcy proceedings as soon as possible,” said Don Liebentritt, the company’s chief restructuring officer. “In addition, we believe this plan has broad support within the senior lender class.”

Tribune noted that it expects operating cash flow this year to hit $617 million, about $123 million higher than in 2009, and it expects to keep a new retirement plan in place while ending its employee stock ownership plan.

The company ran up about $8 billion in debt as part of its takeover by Chicago real-estate tycoon Sam Zell.

On Friday, Chief Executive Randy Michaels stepped down following widespread reports of financial mismanagement and sexual harassment at the venerable media firm.

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