Philly Newspapers’ Fight for Control With Creditors Reaches Federal Appeals Court

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The future of Philadelphia’s two major newspapers could turn on a single comma in the bankruptcy code.

The owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are battling creditors for control, in a long-running fight that reached a federal appeals court Tuesday.

Creditors seized on the comma to argue for the right to credit bid. That means they could use the $300 million owed them to bid.

The owners interpret the statute to mean they can bar credit bids. They hope a group of current and new investors will win the auction with a bid of $67 million in cash and real estate.

The local group would likely retain Publisher Brian Tierney, while creditors would oust him.

The appeals court did not indicate when it would rule.

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