Lazard Freres & Co. has been retained as financial advisor and Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg as legal counsel for Morris Publishing Group to evaluate strategic options for its capital structure. Although Morris Publishing Group is controlled by privately owned Morris Communications, the newspaper group is the only part of the family-run media empire that has public bonds.
That doesn’t mean, though, that radio, outdoor and other Morris Communications businesses aren’t potentially impacted by what goes on with the newspaper group. According to the latest quarterly report filed with the SEC by Morris Publishing Group, an amendment to its agreement with its senior lender agreed to in October 2008 requires Morris Communications and its subsidiaries to have a deal in place by May 30, 2009 to sell assets which would repay the entire outstanding senior debt, which then was $145.5 million.
Morris Publishing Group sold 14 daily newspapers and some other assets to GateHouse Media in 2007. It still owns 13 dailies, as well as some other publications.