WILMINGTON, Del. (CN) – Tribune Co. asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge for a fifth extension to work out the details of its reorganization plan with creditors. The newspaper owner wants until April 30 to come up with a plan, despite creditors’ objections.
The owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times did not divulge the reasons for asking for another extension, but stated that “supplemental filings” would be provided before the next hearing on April 13.
Though the extension request requires a judge’s approval, the motion essentially freezes exclusivity until the April 13 hearing due to an idiosyncrasy in Delaware law.
A group of creditors holding $4.6 billion in debt immediately objected to being given only three business days to respond to the motion, saying the Tribune Co. offered “not a single substantive ground for the requested extension for exclusivity.”
The credit agreement lenders, composed of more than 50 institutional investors, asked Judge Kevin Carey to deny the extension request and let them file objections or responses within three days of the Tribune’s supplemental filings, so they won’t “be forced to shoot in the dark.”
More than half of the Tribune Co.’s $13 billion debt stems from an $8.2 billion leveraged buyout in 2007 by Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008.