Inside these posts: Sam Zell

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Zell attorney objects to Tribune bankruptcy plans

Sam Zell in February of 2008. (Charles Osgood/Tribune)

An attorney for billionaire developer Sam Zell, who engineered a buyout that left Tribune Co. saddled with debt, says proposals to reorganize the media company’s finances aren’t fair to his client.

Attorney David Bradford says the proposals do not adequately protect Zell from lawsuits that threaten to injure his reputation and waste Tribune’s assets. Get the full story »

Revised plans presented at Tribune hearing

A hearing to determine the fate of the Tribune Co.’s proposed reorganization plan resumed Tuesday with attorneys for Tribune and attorneys for noteholders who have submitted a competing plan continuing to squabble over technical issues. The judge again signaled his desire for a conclusion to the Chapter 11 case, which has dragged on for more than two years. Get the full story »

Hearing resumes on Tribune reorganization

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has resumed a hearing to determine whether he should approve Tribune Co.’s proposed reorganization plan. Get the full story »

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 bankruptcy nears finish line

After 27 months of legal wrangling, Tribune Co. and its creditors are finally headed into what could be the deciding chapter of the company’s tangled bankruptcy saga.

The case will enter what bankruptcy law practitioners call confirmation hearings Monday, and for the next two weeks U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Delaware will hear evidence from an army of lawyers arguing for and against two competing visions of how to restructure the Chicago-based media conglomerate.

Judge OKs class-action against Tribune ESOP trustee

Tribune Co. employees at the time of company’s 2007 leveraged buy-out are eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the ESOP trustee that represented their interests in the takeover by billionaire Sam Zell, a federal judge ruled Friday. Get the full story »

Creditors OK Tribune-backed reorganization plan

Tribune Co. said Friday that the long-awaited creditor vote in the media company’s 26-month-old bankruptcy case will allow both restructuring plans competing for a judge’s approval to move forward toward confirmation hearings scheduled for March 7.

The vote provided no surprises. Each of the two competing plans won support from the creditor alliance that proposed it and suffered rejection from the other side.

Tribune Co. owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other media properties. Get the full story »

Zell tells Forbes he won’t miss Tribune Co.

Tower Ticker | The same day Tribune Co. reported an uptick in its business during 2010, Forbes Magazine posted an interview with Chairman Sam Zell in which the entrepreneur once more made it clear he won’t be sorry to say farewell to the Chicago-based media concern.

Gerry Spector exiting as COO of Tribune Co.

Tribune Co. Chief Operating Officer Gerry Spector, a long-time associate of real estate billionaire Sam Zell, is leaving the Chicago-based media company he has helped lead since Zell took it private three years ago.

Equity Intl. CEO: Brazil demand outweighs fears

Brazil might be an exception to the rule of thumb that says avoid the asset everyone’s piling into, according to the chief executive of Equity International, the international arm of real estate mogul Sam Zell. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. creditors want insiders to return $250M

Tribune Co. creditors asked a Delaware judge to let them try to recover millions of dollars awarded to insiders in the year prior to the media company’s bankruptcy, saying they can do a better job than Tribune can.

In a Thursday court filing, Tribune’s official committee of unsecured creditors said it wants current and former Tribune officers and directors to return more than $250 million of awards, including bonuses and restricted stock. 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 »

Hedge funds sue lenders in Tribune Co. LBO

A group of hedge funds sued the four banks that funded Tribune Co.’s 2007 leveraged buyout, alleging that the lenders knowingly rendered the company insolvent and precipitated its 2008 bankruptcy.

The suit, filed on Friday in New York state court, charges JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch Capital Corp., Citicorp North America Inc. and Bank of America with breach of contract, breach of good faith and negligence. It asks the court to set damages. Get the full story »

Judge gives creditors right to sue Zell, others

A bankruptcy judge on Friday granted Tribune Co.’s  official committee of unsecured creditors authority to make the opening moves in long-threatened litigation over the 2007 leveraged buyout blamed for the media company’s tumble into Chapter 11.

Judge Kevin Carey said he would sign off on an order acknowledging the official committee is the proper body to bring claims against lenders, executives and other leaders of the embattled media company, as well as advisers who reaped millions in fees from the LBO. Get the full story »

Tribune bankruptcy judge extends filing deadlines

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey extended the filing deadlines in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case Wednesday to give rival creditor groups more time to propose alternative restructuring plans for the Chicago-based media company.

The move will push the first disclosure hearing on those plans into late November and guarantees that the all-important confirmation hearings in the case won’t be held until sometime next year.

Carey had earlier given Tribune Co. and its various creditor constituencies until this Friday to file any restructuring plans. But junior creditors asked that a company-sponsored plan negotiated earlier this week be filed first and that they be given two extra weeks to decide whether to file competing plans. Get the full story »