Freedom Files for Chapter 11
September 2, 2009
IRVINE, CALIF.: Freedom
Communications has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move was expected as
the privately held media company worked out an arrangement with its lenders.
Freedom said yesterday it worked out an agreement with lenders to restructure
its debt and consequently filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware in Wilmington. Under deal terms, lenders will take over
the company, which includes eight TV stations and around 100 newspapers.
Operations of the media properties will continue normally, Freedom said.
The lenders, including J.P. Morgan Chase, SunTrust Banks and Union Bank of
California, were owed around $770 million, Forbes
said. The company was majority owned by the family of R.C. Hoiles. Blackstone
Group and Providence Equity Partners had a 40 percent stake. All three will
emerge with an equity share of about 2 percent when the company emerges from
bankruptcy, said. They’ll also receive warrants for up to an additional
10 percent over five years if certain financial benchmarks are hit. The
New York Times
Freedom said it had “sufficient cash to fund daily operations, including
post-petition payments to vendors and partners, and to meet customer and
employee obligations through the duration of the restructuring.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams
More from TVB on Freedom’s filing:
August 31, 2009: “Freedom defaulted last fall, but reached agreements in April with senior
credit facility lenders to waive certain requirements through the end of the
year. Freedom Communications
Expected to File Chapter 11”
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