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Tribune media conglomerate files reorganization plan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The company files the plan jointly with some of its creditors
  • It requires the approval of other lenders and the court
  • The company owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun

(CNN) -- Tribune Co. has filed a reorganization plan in a bankruptcy court that would turn control over to its principle creditors and aims to keep the media conglomerate intact.

The Chicago-based company, which publishes several leading U.S. newspapers, filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcty protection in late 2008. The company has since struggled to put together a workable deal.

The current plan, which Tribune filed Friday together with a number of its major creditors, would need to be approved by the court and other lenders. It envisions turning control over to some holders of the company's loans -- including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Angelo Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital Management -- and keeping the business in tact.

Some bondholders would get $420 million, or around 33 percent of what they are owed, according to the proposed deal.

"We are pleased to be able to put before the court and our creditors the previously announced settlement of (leveraged buyout) claims in a plan that 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, Tribune's chief restructuring officer, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

The filing follows the resignation of Randy Michaels, who stepped down as Tribune's chief executive Friday after reports he permitted a hostile work environment.

Other creditors wanting more of a payout are expected to present competing plans by next Friday's deadline, the Chicago Tribune reported. The newspaper said this is the second reorganization plan Tribune has formally presented to a Delaware bankruptcy court.

Real estate mogul Sam Zell took the company private in December 2007.

Besides the Chicago Tribune, Tribune owns the Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun newspapers, as well as television and radio stations across the nation.