CONYERS - Triple Crown Media Inc., parent company of the Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen, has entered into an agreement with its lenders to restructure the company's balance sheet. The agreement announced Monday, when completed, will provide the holders of the company's second lien secured debt with 90-percent ownership in the company.
Under the proposed restructuring, approximately $35 million of the company's second lien debt will be exchanged for $10 million of new second lien secured notes and 90 percent of the new common stock of the reorganized company. The company's approximately $27 million of existing preferred stock will be exchanged for 5 percent of the new common stock. The remaining 5 percent would be available for issuance under management compensation programs. The company's existing common stock will be canceled. The proposed restructuring will take Triple Crown from being a publicly-held company to a privately-owned company.
To implement this restructuring, the company has initiated a "pre-arranged" bankruptcy by filing a chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Triple Crown Media was formed in 2005 when the properties were spun off from Gray Television. TCM consists of seven Georgia newspapers.
"Each TCM newspaper has positive cash flow, but the company has been highly leveraged. This restructuring will lower debt and allow our newspapers to regain footing so they can continue to operate as they have in the past," said company Executive Vice-President Michael Gebhart.
The company's existing secured lenders have agreed to a budget covering working capital and other operational expenses pending court approval of the proposed restructuring plan, and Triple Crown management expects it will have sufficient cash resources to continue operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings without need for further financing. In addition, the company has asked the Bankruptcy Court to authorize the payment of all trade creditor debts incurred prior to the filing as they become due.
"Nothing in this restructuring plan will change how we publish these newspapers," said Alice Queen, editor and publisher of the Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. "The procedure was designed to be seamless. Our customers won't see any difference in the Citizen newspapers or in how we conduct business."
The proposed restructuring plan is subject to a number of conditions, including approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
More information, including access to the proposed plan, restructuring agreement and other court documents, can be obtained at www.kccllc.net/triplecrown.