Tribune Co.: Ya Gotta Give 'em Credit ($8 Billion, That Is)

By: Tribune Co. said Thursday that it entered into a credit agreement with a group of lenders that provides for $8.03 billion of available funds as the media conglomerate goes private.

The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has the possibility to borrow an additional $2.11 billion incremental term loan facility and a $2.1 billion senior unsecured bridge facility under certain conditions.

The $8.03 billion credit pact consists of a $1.5 billion term loan facility, a separate $5.52 billion term loan facility, a $263 million delayed-draw term loan facility and a $750 million revolving credit facility, according to the filing.

Tribune said it may use proceeds from the credit agreement in connection with its previously announced tender offer to buy back up to 126 million common shares for $34 each. It also said it may use the funds to refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

The tender offer is an initial step toward the company's acquisition in an $8.2 billion deal by real estate tycoon Sam Zell.

Zell ultimately will control about 40 percent of the company, which will give him the largest individual stake while Tribune employees own the rest under the employee stock ownership plan created by the agreement.

Tribune, based in Chicago, owns 11 daily newspapers, 23 TV stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.


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