Tribune Co. filed a third amended bankruptcy reorganization plan with the support of its unsecured creditors committee and parties including Oaktree Capital Management LP and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Tribune said in a statement yesterday that it’s requesting a confirmation hearing in February in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, where the plan was filed. Noteholders and other pre-buyout creditors asked a judge this week to reconsider part of his decision to reject two competing plans to reorganize the biggest media company under court protection.
Aurelius Capital Management, Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas and Law Debenture Trust Co. of New York on Nov. 14 asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey to reconsider some of the rulings he made in the 125-page Oct. 31 decision. Carey rejected Tribune’s reorganization plan and a competing proposal by the noteholders. He approved the central piece of the company’s plan, a settlement with lenders led by JPMorgan.
The new plan “addresses the court’s concerns as expressed in its decision last month,” the company said last night in an e-mailed statement. “Tribune’s amended plan continues to have the support of its co-proponents, the unsecured creditors committee, Oaktree Capital Management LP, Angelo, Gordon & Co, LP, and JPMorgan Chase Bank.”
The rulings the creditors want reconsidered involve the repayment status of debt-like securities known as Phones and a proposed litigation trust set up to file lawsuits related to Tribune’s 2007 buyout.
The two plans were backed by opposing groups of creditors. New York-based JPMorgan and the lenders who funded Tribune’s $8.2 billion buyout in 2007 supported a plan that would absolve them of most legal responsibility for the transaction.
The Chicago-based newspaper and television company filed for bankruptcy one year after the buyout led by real-estate billionaire Sam Zell.
Carey has presided over the case since it was filed in December 2008. Tribune, which is valued at about $6.75 billion, owes creditors about $13 billion, according to court records.
The bankruptcy case is In re Tribune Co., 08-bk-13141, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).