Journal Register Emerges from Bankruptcy
Newspaper, magazine publisher names former Time Warner CFO as chairman.
About a month after winning court approval of its plan of reorganization, Yardley, Pennsylvania-based Journal Register Company said it has officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As part of the announcement, JRC said it closed on exit financing consisting of a $150 million loan agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank, a $75 million loan agreement with Wells Fargo Bank and a revolving credit facility with Wachovia Bank, National Association. According to interim CEO Robert P. Conway, JRC's emergence allows the publisher to continue delivering "high quality, hyper-local content ... through our traditional print media products and the vast new media opportunities available to the company."
Last month, a New York bankruptcy court overruled objections from unsecured creditors and minority shareholders who claimed the plan disfavors certain creditors and provides for unnecessary executive bonuses. Following the courtâ€™s approval, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal blasted the ruling, saying in a statement that it allows JRC executives to receive more than $1.3 million in â€œblatantly undeserved bonuses for shutting down newspapers and laying off employees." At the time, Blumenthal said his office was reviewing the judgment to "determine whether further action is appropriate."
JRCâ€”which publishes daily and weekly newspapers nationwide, as well as several magazines in Connecticut and the Philadelphia areaâ€”filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. The plan reduced the companyâ€™s debt by approximately $420 million, and provided for a $25 million revolving credit facility upon its emergence from credit protection.
New Board of Directors
In connection with the announcement, JRC said it named a new four-member board of directors. Heading it as chairman is former Time Warner CFO and America Online Inc. vice chairman Joseph A. Ripp.
Joining Ripp on the board are Michael Diament, a former portfolio manager for Q Investments; Peter H. Glusker, the head of business development and international operations for Gilt Groupe Inc.; and John Paton, chairman and CEO of impreMedia.