Regent Communications has exited Chapter 11 reorganization, less than two months after filing with a US Bankruptcy Court. Now it’s back to a 100% focus on the radio business – albeit with new owners.
Regent is now primarily owned by Oaktree Capital Management, converting debt to equity to lighten Regent’s debt load. Oaktree and GE Capital had signed onto the pre-packaged reorg deal which provided the restructured Regent with a new four-year senior secured loan of $95 million, $25 million of PIK (payment in kind) loans running four and a half years and a new $5 million revolving loan facility.
Former Regent shareholders have no equity in the new company, but are to receive collectively $5.5 million, which works out to about 12.8 cents per share. Regent said those payments will be made in early- to mid-May.
Regent’s fast-track bankruptcy reorganization had been threatened at one point, when a major shareholder, Resilient Capital Management, demanded that a special committee be formed to represent the shareholders. Resilient claimed that shareholders were being shortchanged – that Regent was really worth more than claimed in the reorg plan.
But earlier this month US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross rejected the Resilient motion and approved the reorganization plan. A few days later Resilient threw in the towel and accepted a settlement to cover its legal costs.
With all of the obstacles cleared away, Regent announced Tuesday that it was exiting Chapter 11. From the March 1 filing to the April 27 exit, the bankruptcy reorganization took a mere 58 days.
RBR-TVBR observation: This seems to have set a speed record for a broadcasting Chapter 11 process. Not that a bankruptcy reorganization is ever a good thing, but now Regent employees no longer have to worry about a financial cloud hanging over the company. It was certainly painful for Regent’s shareholders, even though they did come out of it with something, unlike most other broadcast bankruptcies.