‘Florida Times-Union’ Parent Files ‘Prepackaged’ Bankruptcy

By: E&P Staff

Family-owned Morris Publishing Group is joining the long list of newspaper companies who have sought bankruptcy protection. The publisher of The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and a dozen other dailies said that by Jan. 19 it will file a “prepackaged” bankruptcy petition that would cut its debt load by more than half.

The announcement had been expected since Morris faced the nearly impossible task of persuading nearly all its creditors to agree to a debt exchange offer of $100 million in new debt for $278.5 million in existing debt.

But Morris had already won support for its plan from creditors holding more than 75% of its notes.

The increasingly popular “prepackaged” route through bankruptcy court is generally a quicker and less expensive approach than a typical contested Chapter 11 filing.

Under its reorganization plan, Morris needed the approval of the debt exchange offer from holders of 99% of its existing notes by Jan. 12 to avoid a bankruptcy filing. Morris said it did not meet that requirement and had terminated the offer.

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