Tribune Chapter 11 plan ruling just days away


That’s what US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey said Wednesday as he ruled on some settlements in the long bankruptcy case of Tribune Company. Carey said “I literally am within days” of deciding between the competing restructuring plans — one backed by Tribune’s management and senior creditors and another proposed by Aurelius Capital Management and backed by other junior creditors.

Carey heard arguments on the competing plans in June. He said then a decision could come in a month or so, but that timeline has dragged on to several months. The Tribune bankruptcy will mark its third anniversary in December.

Both the Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal reported the “within days” quote from Wednesday’s hearing, where Judge Carey approved a previously reported settlement which will have the bankruptcy estate pay $7 million to the IRS to settle claims by the IRS and the US Department of Labor that the ill-fated 2007 leveraged buyout by an employee stock ownership plan devised by Sam Zell violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).