Tribune Company bankruptcy case still has months to go


Just before the New Year weekend US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey issued rulings on various motions by the numerous parties involved in the Tribune Company bankruptcy case. He’s now targeting a mid- to late-May 2012 confirmation hearing on a revised plan for the company to exit Chapter 11, so there’ll be no quick resolution.

As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, one of the Tribune Company-owned newspapers, Carey directed the parties to try to reach a resolution of their competing reorganization plans – and gave them the scheduling target of mid- to late-May. That quashed hopes of Tribune management for a quicker hearing to approve a Chapter 11 plan.

Shortly before the bankruptcy case hit its third anniversary Judge Carey rejected both proposed reorganization plans. However, he indicated a preference for the approach of the plan from Tribune’s senior creditors, Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, along with Tribune management and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. But he wanted some modifications to improve the status of junior creditors. Those junior creditors, led by Aurelius Capital Management, had submitted their own plan, which didn’t get much traction with the judge.

RBR-TVBR observation: Our prediction that Tribune will exit Chapter 11 before the 4th anniversary of its bankruptcy filing could come down to a photo finish. The day to light four candles on the cake is December 8, 2012.