‘Florida Times-Union’ Parent Morris Makes Bankruptcy Official

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Morris Publishing Group formally filed its prepackaged reorganization plan with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Augusta, Ga., Tuesday morning.

Under the prepackaged plan, Morris Publishing will reduce its overall indebtedness from approximately $415 million to $126.5 million.

The plan, agreed to by the great majority of its bondholders, will cancel notes totaling $278.5 million that would be due in 2013 and exchange them with $100 million of new second lien secured notes that mature in 2014.

Augusta, Ga.-based Morris, publisher of The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and a dozen other dailies, said holders of approximately 93% of its existing notes support the prepackaged reorganization plan.

“This filing is the final step in the financial restructuring we announced last fall,” Morris Publishing Group Chairman William S. Morris III said in a statement. “We are pleased that so many of our noteholders agreed to support this move to get Morris Publishing on more solid financial ground.”

Morris said the $100 million in new notes will bear interest of at least 10%, but some could be as high as 15%. Some of the interest could be paid “in-kind,” that is, with additional securities rather than in cash.

Morris said operations at its dailies and 13 community papers will continue without interruption and that “all obligations to employees and vendors will be met in full.”

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