Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Paris braced for new pro-Palestinian rally after clashes

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

Business

US media giant Tribune Co files for bankruptcy

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Latest update : 2008-12-09

Media conglomerate Tribune Co, owner of US dailies the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times as well as local TV networks, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The group faces heavy losses in revenue and must cope with huge debts.

Reuters - Tribune Co has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after struggling under a heavy debt load, according to a court document filed with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware on Monday.

The privately held publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, which took on about $13 billion of debt when it went private last year under a deal led by real estate mogul Sam Zell, said in the filing that it had $7.6 billion in assets and $12.97 billion in debt as of Dec. 8.

Tribune said its unsecured creditors include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co's JPMorgan Chase Bank with $8.57 billion with a claim under a senior facility and Merrill Lynch & Co Inc's Merrill Lynch Capital Corp with a $1.6 billion claim under a bridge loan facility. Its equity holders include a Tribune employee stock ownership plan with 56.52 million shares.

The filing does not include Tribune's Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team, or iconic Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play. Tribune has been trying to sell both.

Earlier in the day, a source briefed on the matter had told Reuters that Tribune had hired investment bank Lazard Ltd to look at a possible bankruptcy filing even as the publisher and broadcaster talked with lenders to renegotiate its debt.

The filing said Tribune had retained Lazard and Alvarez & Marsal as financial advisers, and Sidley Austin and Cole Schotz Meisel, Forman & Leonard as legal counsel.

Tribune has been trying to sell off properties such as the Cubs to pay off debt. It had already sold the Newsday newspaper on New York's Long Island to Cablevision Systems Corp.

During the third quarter, Tribune also sold a 10 percent interest in online job site CareerBuilder to Gannett Co Inc for $135 million.

Analysts had said Tribune's biggest challenge was to avoid violating the lending terms, or "covenants," on what they estimated to be about $10 billion of guaranteed debt.

The company's cash flow might be insufficient to cover nearly $1 billion in interest payments due this year, and Tribune owes a $512 million debt payment in June.

Tribune reported in November a third-quarter loss from continuing operations of $124 million, compared with a profit of $84 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue fell 10 percent to $1 billion.

Tribune repaid $888 million in debt in the third quarter, with $218 million coming from another credit line. For the balance, it used money from the Newsday and CareerBuilder deals.

Date created : 2008-12-08

COMMENT(S)