Angelo Gordon & Co.

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Testimony: Tribune Co. settlement talks ‘painful’

WILMINGTON, Del. — Confirmation hearings in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case got under way Tuesday with a full day of testimony about the company’s tortured on-again-off-again effort to forge a settlement among its warring creditors.

Investment banker David Kurtz of Lazard Ltd., who spearheaded negotiations on behalf of Chicago-based Tribune Co. for two years, described a “painful and difficult” process paralyzed by the obstructionist behavior among the creditors.

He said efforts to broker a deal among creditors sparring over legal claims related to Tribune Co.’s 2007 leverage buyout were repeatedly undone by the aggressive tactics of hedge funds on all sides of the case who bought the company’s distressed debt hoping to profit from a restructuring. Get the full story »

Tribune creditors to vote on 4 reorganization plans

The judge in Tribune Co.’s contentious bankruptcy case signaled his approval Monday to send four competing restructuring plans out for vote by the Chicago-based media company’s creditors.

If he issues the formal order by Wednesday, which will mark the two-year anniversary of the case, solicitation packages containing disclosure documents explaining the four plans will likely be mailed on Dec. 22, said a Tribune Co. lawyer.

Creditors will then have until Jan. 28 to cast their votes and the judge will use those results to gauge support for the various plans ahead of a five-day confirmation hearing set for early March. Get the full story »

Evanston’s Magnetar benefited from TALF

Hedge funds and investors whose bearish trades on housing helped them profit amid the credit crisis were among those that benefited from a U.S. government emergency rescue program to kick-start lending, according to Federal Reserve data released Wednesday.

That program, known as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility, or TALF, and established during the financial crisis, provided low-cost loans from the Federal Reserve to investors buying bonds backed by student, auto and commercial-property loans and other assets. The program, which lasted from March 2009 until June 2010, was aimed at helping banks move loans off their books by repackaging them into bonds and selling them.

Funds managed or backed by Evanston-based Magnetar Capital, Tricadia Capital and FrontPoint Partners, which made large profits betting on a downturn in the U.S. housing market before the crisis, were among those who obtained low-cost loans from the Fed to buy securities, according to the Fed data. Get the full story »

New Tribune Co. lawyer spat breaks out

A new side-imbroglio has broken out in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy, highlighting the often incestuous world occupied by big-time bankruptcy attorneys.

Let’s see if we can sort it all out … Get the full story »

Creditors sue Zell, banks over Tribune bankruptcy

Tribune Co. creditors filed sprawling lawsuits on Monday that take aim at Sam Zell, his banks and advisers for the disastrous leveraged buyout that plunged the publisher into bankruptcy two years ago.

The lawsuit accuses billionaire Zell and the Tribune board of defrauding Tribune’s creditors by pursuing the buyout of the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune knowing it would lead to bankruptcy. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. talks continue; judge weighs failure

The battling parties in Tribune Co.’s fractious bankruptcy case planned to sit down Monday for another day of mediation aimed at forging a settlement of legal claims surrounding the company’s 2007 leveraged buyout.

But at a status hearing in Delaware before the mediation session began, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey spent much of his time anticipating how to proceed  assuming the mediation fails. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. reaches deal with 2 largest creditors

Tribune Co. has reached a settlement with Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital Management, two of the largest senior creditors in its bankruptcy case, that will form the basis of a new plan of reorganization for the company. Get the full story »

Two Tribune creditors file own reorganization plan

Two of the largest senior creditors in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case filed a plan of reorganization in Delaware bankruptcy court Friday, providing an alternative solution to the management plan that has been in place since earlier this year.

The move makes allies out of two distressed debt hedge funds, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital Management, that had until recently been at odds with each other. And it comes in advance of a court-ordered mediation that is scheduled to begin Sept. 26. Get the full story »

Eisner downplays rumors of Tribune Co. role

Former Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner is downplaying reports he is being considered to head Tribune Co. after it exits bankruptcy protection.

The 68-year-old told a St. Louis radio station Tuesday that “somebody in the media” read more into his association with Tribune than was real. Get the full story »

Will Eisner be Tribune Co.’s next chairman?

Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner on July 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Michael Oneal and Sallie Hofmeister

Former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner is in discussions that could lead to his return to the media spotlight — as chairman of the now-bankrupt Tribune Co.

The Chicago-based media company’s largest creditors are having preliminary conversations with prospective candidates who could operate Tribune Co. once it emerges from bankruptcy, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.

Eisner, who has been dabbling in the digital world as an investor since stepping down from Disney in 2005, is among the candidates under consideration to replace Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell as chairman of the reorganized company. Get the full story »

Court OKs Philly newspaper reorganization plan

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer won court approval Monday for its bankruptcy reorganization plan, clearing the way for lenders to buy its newspaper assets for about $139 million.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich rejected objections by some union pension funds before approving the plan proposed by Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, which runs the Inquirer and the smaller Philadelphia Daily News. Get the full story »