A bankruptcy judge on Monday confirmed a plan that grants a group of creditors, led by L.A. asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management, control of Tribune Co. – parent of the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV (5).
The ruling may lead to Tribune’s exit from a three-and-a-half year Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
The Los Angeles Times reported that approval of the new ownership may help the company complete one of its major outstanding tasks in emerging from the bankruptcy - transferring its TV and radio broadcast licenses to new ownership.
Tribune will also need to reshape its corporate structure, and secure $1.1 billion in new debt financing along with a $300 million line of credit. The company is expected to emerge from bankruptcy later this year.
The new owners include distressed debt investor Angelo Gordon & Co. and JP Morgan Chase. Some expect the group to put Tribune or its individual media properties up for sale at some point.
Earlier this year, billionaire Eli Broad indicated interest in owning the Los Angeles Times. Broad and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle previously bid for Tribune Co. in 2007, but lost to Chicago real estate developer Sam Zell’s $8.2 billion offer.