Tribune Co. to Exit Bankruptcy Protection after 4 Years

Tribune Co., which owns Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and several other media outlets, is set to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy that was filed over four years ago. The media giant went through an extensive debt restructuring and reports new ownership under a slew of high-capital shareholders.

Among the newly organized company’s top creditors are Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon and Co., and JPMorgan Chase and Co., reports the Associated Press. From these creditors comes a $1.1 billion secured term loan with a $300 million credit line to ensure operations proceed as normal.

Founded in 1847, Tribune Co. is among the most notable and longstanding media companies in the country. Along with the Chicago Tribune and LA Times, it runs the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, WGN and over 20 more TV stations.

The Chapter 11 filing that began in 2008 was largely the result of a previous buyout for a reported $8 billion that left company to deal with $13 billion in debts. When a large company owes such a significant amount to creditors, it is often the only viable solution to file bankruptcy protection while seeking out financiers and creating a repayment plan. During the four years of bankruptcy, the company was able to continue to carry out daily operations; companies in this state generally make cut backs as part of the bankruptcy plan but also find strategic investments to point the company in the right direction when they emerge.

"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," Chief Executive Eddy Hartenstein stated, according to Reuters.

Tribune Co. has also announced a new board comprised of seven noted business people including Hartenstein, former Discovery Communications executive Peter Liguori, former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn, and former Walt Disney high-level executive Peter Murphy. According to reports, the company plans to prioritize television ventures, so we can expect to see more from WGN America and WGN Chicago programming in 2013.

Read more about bankruptcy protection in FreeAdvice Bankruptcy Law articles.

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