Monday, August 17, 2009

Tribune Co. Creditors Seek Special Counsel
to Probe Buyout, Could Sue to Recover Money

Tribune Co. creditors have asked the bankruptcy court for permission to hire special counsel to further investigate the $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of the Chicago-based media company engineered by real estate magnate Sam Zell.

The inquiry is common practice when a bankruptcy follows closely on the heels of an LBO, said bankruptcy experts. Zell closed the transaction that took Tribune Co. private in December 2007. The new debt obligations were too big a burden amid rapidly declining advertising revenues, sending the company, parent of the Chicago Tribune, into bankruptcy in December 2008.

Creditors have not filed a lawsuit seeking to recover money against parties that were involved in the going-private transaction, which established an employee stock ownership plan to become majority owner of the company. But the court filing on Thursday signaled that they are considering pursuing litigation, said Chicago-based restructuring expert Bill Brandt. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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