Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tribune Creditors Follow the Money
to the McCormick Foundation

Irked creditors are following the money from the 2007 leveraged buyout of Tribune Co. right to the stately acres and 27-hole golf course at the mansion-turned-museum commemorating the life and times of deceased Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick, new court documents show.

The non-profit Cantigny Foundation that runs the 500-acre estate sold nearly $184 million worth of Tribune stock in connection with the deal. The LBO that saddled Tribune Co. with billions in debt meant a nice bump to the Cantigny Foundation endowment, allowing it to further its mission of providing the public the opportunity to hike, golf and examine the artifacts of the First Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. (McCormick was Colonel McCormick.)

Also in the cross-hairs of creditors in Tribune’s Chapter 11 case is the billion dollar-plus McCormick Foundation, which sold $1.5 billion worth of company stock in the LBO transactions, for a $963 million profit, according to tax records. It dishes out millions annually to civic charities around the country. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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