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Court Approves Freedom’s Plan To Shed $445 Million in Debt

IRVINE, CALIF.: Freedom Communications won court approval for a reorganization that will allow it to slash $445 million from its secured debt. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington confirmed Freedom’s reorg plan to reduce its debt and be taken over by lenders represented by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

Freedom, which owns eight TV stations and around 90 print publications, filed for bankruptcy last September with $1 billion in debt. J.P. Morgan Chase, SunTrust and Union Bank of California held around $770 million of the total. The three lenders were named to take over Freedom in its initial reorg proposal, but unsecured creditors in line to get just $5 million for $300 million in claims protested. Freedom came back with a revised plan that won creditor approval in January. The final hearing on the plan came Tuesday.

Freedom said, “the company is currently working to clear remaining plan items to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the month. The plan is supported by the steering committee, comprised of the company’s secured lenders, and the official committee, comprised of unsecured creditors. The plan was approved by a majority of the company’s voting creditors. The plan will eliminate $450 million of the company’s debts, providing the company with the flexibility and financial strength needed to serve its stakeholders.”