UPDATE: ‘Florida Times-Union’ Parent Given More Time to Avoid Bankruptcy

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Morris Publishing Group was granted another reprieve from bankruptcy Friday.

The parent of The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and another dozen dailies announced the banks holding most of its notes agreed to give it more time to make a long-overdue interest payment that could have triggered bankruptcy.

Morris said the bank group holding 80% of its senior subordinated notes agreed to extend its “forbearance” period until June 12. Morris, straining under debt that totals $419.5 million, has not made a $9.7 million interest payment that was due Feb. 1.

Under terms of the notes and its “cross-default” provisions, failure to make the interest payment could have triggered demands for the immediate payment of the entire debt.

Morris said its lenders also agreed to waive the cross-default provisions until June 12.

Morris has said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that “there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

The SEC filing listed Morris’ debts as $419.5 million, and its assets as about $171 million.

More details about Morris’ financial conditions are posted at E&P’s business-oriented Fitz & Jen blog.

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