Tribune Files For Bankruptcy
December 8, 2008 at 11:09 AM (PT)
The TRIBUNE CO. has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company filed for Chapter 11 TODAY, with the CHICAGO CUBS and WRIGLEY FIELD not included in the filing.
In a release, the company's owner SAM ZELL said, "Over the last year, we have made significant progress internally on transitioning Tribune into an entrepreneurial company that pursues innovation and stronger ways of serving our customers. Unfortunately, at the same time, factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm - a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt."
Earlier, the company hired investment bank LAZARD LTD. as a financial adviser and law firm SIDLEY AUSTIN to advise it on the legal issues surrounding a bankruptcy filing.
The company went private last DECEMBER in a buyout by CHICAGO real estate mogul ZELL, who paid over $8 billion in a deal that involved the TRIBUNE employees' union. TRIBUNE faces a quarterly test of compliance at the end of DECEMBER that requires its debt to be lower than nine times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The company has sold LONG ISLAND daily paper NEWSDAY to CABLEVISION but has run into delays in selling the CHICAGO CUBS along with WRIGLEY FIELD.
TRIBUNE owns Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO.