Tribune Company Files for Bankruptcy Protection

10 December 2008

CHICAGO: The Tribune Company, owner of major US newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times plus over 20 TV channels, has filed for bankruptcy protection just one year after an $8.2 billion (€6.4bn; £5.6bn) buyout headed by property billionaire tycoon Sam Zell (pictured).

According to bankruptcy papers filed at a court in Delaware, the company has listed assets worth $7.6bn and debts totalling around $13bn.

An employee share ownership scheme was at the heart of the takeover, with Zell's personal investment estimated to be around $315 million. 

According to observers, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are also exposed for around $3.5bn between them, with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts also potentially significantly out of pocket. 

Tribune also owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which is currently on the market for $1bn. It also  offloaded Newsday to Cablevision for $650m earlier this year.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff