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Tribune To Emerge From Bankruptcy On Dec. 31


Publisher Tribune Co. (TRBCQ.PK), owner of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, Sunday said it would emerge from its Chapter 11 restructuring process on Monday and distributions to creditors would be initiated then. The company also announced a seven-member board.

Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune's chief executive officer, said, "Tribune will emerge from the bankruptcy process as a multi-media company with a great mix of profitable assets, strong brands in major markets and a much-improved capital structure."

In connection with the emergence, Tribune, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008, will close on a new $1.1 billion senior secured term loan and a new $300 million asset based revolving credit facility.

The term loan will be used to fund some required payments under the plan of reorganization, and the revolving credit facility will be used to fund ongoing operations.

Additionally, Tribune's pre-petition credit facilities and outstanding notes and debentures will be canceled and extinguished, while its pre-petition common stock will be canceled.

After completing all distributions under the plan of reorganization, Tribune will have issued to former creditors a mix of around 100 million shares of new class A common stock and new class B common stock and new warrants to purchase shares of new class A or class B common stock.

Tribune's subsidiary creditors and vendors will be receiving 100 percent recovery of what they are owed.

The company also announced its new Board of Directors, effective December 31, comprising Bruce Karsh, Ken Liang, Peter Murphy, Ross Levinsohn, Craig Jacobson, Peter Liguori and Eddy Hartenstein.

Tribune's new Board of Directors will convene its first meeting in the next several weeks, where the roles of its members, its committee structure will be defined. Chief executive officer Eddy Hartenstein will remain in his current role until that time. It is believed that Liguori will be named the new chief executive.

The Chicago-based media company has a history of over 165 years. The company's plan of reorganization was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in July. The Federal Communications Commission granted Tribune the necessary transfer applications and waivers in November.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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