Posted tagged ‘Bankruptcy’

Reader’s Digest Filing For Bankruptcy

August 17, 2009

Reader’s Digest Association Inc., the of Reader’s Digest magazine, said today that it would likely file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

From Reuters:

The media company, known worldwide for its family-friendly namesake magazine, been trying to slash costs and boost growth since it was taken private in 2007 by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

The bankruptcy would take the form of a so-called pre-arranged filing, Reader’s Digest said in a statement. A pre-arranged filing comes after a company has already reached deals with its lenders to cut its debt.

The Chapter 11 filing will apply only to the company’s U.S. businesses. Its operations in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia-New Zealand will not be affected.

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GM to Sell Cars on eBay

August 10, 2009

It appears that more than 225 General Motors dealers in California will sell vehicles through the eBay online auction site in a four-week trial.

From CNN:

Under the program, which begins Tuesday, consumers will be able to bargain with the dealers for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac cars and trucks from model years 2008, 2009 and 2010. The program ends Sept. 8.

The new car shopping website, gm.ebay.com, will feature a “wide selection” of up to 20,000 new GM vehicles at “competitive prices,” the companies said in a press release.

Customers will be able to buy cars outright at the advertised price using the Web site’s “Buy It Now” option. Alternatively, customers can suggest a price under the “Best Offer” option, which may then be negotiated with the dealer.

“Together with eBay Motors, GM and our dealers are reinventing the car-buying experience for our California customers,” said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of U.S. sales, in a statement.

GM emerged from bankruptcy protection on July 10, concluding a 40-day stay in Chapter 11 with the sale of its key operations to a new company majority-owned by the U.S. Treasury. The company pledged to win back American consumers and taxpayers.

The automaker has sold certain new and certified-used GM models on eBay Motors in the past. But the scale of the new program marks a significant shift for the online auction house, which is traditionally focused on used cars and auto parts.

Chrysler To Close 789 Dealerships

May 14, 2009

Chrysler hopes to eliminate roughly a quarter of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships by early next month, saying in a bankruptcy court filing this morning that there are too many stores competing with each other.

From the Associated Press:

The company, in a motion filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, said it wants to eliminate 789 dealerships by June 9. Many of the dealers’ sales are too low, the automaker said. Just over 50 percent of dealers account for about 90 percent of the company’s U.S. sales, the motion said.

Dealers were told Thursday morning via United Parcel Service letter if they would remain or be eliminated. The move, which the dealers can appeal, is likely to cause devastating affects in cities and towns across the country as thousands of jobs are lost and taxes are not paid.

Chicago Sun-Times Files For Chapter 11

March 31, 2009

The Sun-Times Media Group, which publishes the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, said this morning that it had filed for bankruptcy protection.

From Dow Jones:

Sun-Times Media Group Inc. (SUTM) has filed for bankruptcy protection, the latest casualty of an extended advertising slump that is reshaping the newspaper industry.

It joins other media companies such as Tribune Co. (TRBCQ), the Chicago-based publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, which filed under Chapter 11 late last year after it was unable to cover interest on bank debt it picked up as part of Sam Zell’s takeover of the company.

The newspaper industry has seen bankruptcy filings, asset sales, layoffs and other cost-cutting moves this year as the economic downturn worsened already-declining ad sales. The ad slump has deepened since late last year, spreading to television broadcasters and Internet media sites.

Sun-Times Media operates 59 newspapers and related Web sites, including the Chicago Sun-Times.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Goes Web Only

March 16, 2009

It was announced today that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will print its final edition Tuesday.

From the Associated Press:

Hearst Corp., which owns the 146-year-old P-I, said Monday that it failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for a 60-day sale in January after years of losing money. Now the P-I will shift entirely to the Web.

“Tonight will be the final run, so let’s do it right,” publisher Roger Oglesby told the newsroom.

Hearst’s decision to abandon the print product in favor of an Internet-only version is the first for a large American newspaper, raising questions about whether the company can make money in a medium where others have come up short.

David Lonay, 80, a subscriber since 1950, said he’ll miss a morning ritual that can’t be replaced by a Web-only version.

“The first thing I do every day is get the P-I and read it,” Lonay said. “I really feel like an old friend is dying.”

Hearst’s move to end the print edition leaves the P-I’s larger rival, The Seattle Times, as the only mainstream daily in the city.

“It’s a really sad day for Seattle,” said P-I reporter Angela Galloway. “The P-I has its strengths and weaknesses but it always strove for a noble cause, which was to give voice to those without power and scrutiny of those with power.”

Seattle follows Denver in losing a daily newspaper this year. The Rocky Mountain News closed after its owner, E.W. Scripps Co., couldn’t find a buyer. In Arizona, Gannett Co.’s Tucson Citizen is set to close Saturday, leaving one newspaper in that city.

And last month Hearst said it would close or sell the San Francisco Chronicle if the newspaper couldn’t slash expenses in coming weeks.

The newspaper industry has seen ad revenue fall in recent years as advertisers migrate to the Internet, particularly to sites offering free or low-cost alternatives for classified ads. Starting last summer, the recession intensified the decline in advertising revenue in all categories.

Four newspaper companies, including the owners of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in recent months.

Sirius Prepares For Bankruptcy

February 10, 2009

Sirius XM Radio Inc. has hired advisers to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing, which could come in days, according to a news report.

From the Associated Press:

The New York Times said late Tuesday documents and analysis of a potential Chapter 11 filing are nearly complete, say people close to the company.

Sirius, whose radio personalities include shock jock Howard Stern, has struggled to refinance its debt load at a time when banks are skittish about lending. About $1 billion worth of debt comes due in 2009.

A bankruptcy could complicate matters for Charlie Ergen, chief executive of Dish Network Corp., who recently bought a major portion of a $300 million batch in Sirius debt that matures next Tuesday, the paper said.

Since then, speculation has arisen about whether Ergen would make a bid to buy Sirius. The possibility of a bankruptcy filing could force his hand to make an offer now in order to avoid the auction process in court. It also could put pressure on him to convert his debt into equity in the company at a higher price than he initially considered, the paper said.

Sirius has hired Alvarez & Marsal; Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett; and Evercore Partners.

Sirius declined to comment on the report, as did Alvarez & Marsal and Evercore Partners. Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Nortel Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

January 14, 2009

Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. on Wednesday, the first major technology company to file for protection during the global downturn.

From the Associated Press:

North America’s biggest maker of telecommunications equipment has been dealing with a sharp drop in orders from phone company clients. It filed for court protection in Delaware on Wednesday, a day before the firm is due to repay a $107 million interest debt on bonds.

Creditor protection would give the company more opportunities to explore restructuring options or sell off some of its assets.

The Toronto-based company said in a release that it had been in the process of a turnaround since late 2005 but added that “the global financial crisis and recession have compounded Nortel’s financial challenges and directly impacted its ability to complete this transformation.”

The company said it is taking this action now with a $2.4 billion Canadian ($2 billion) cash position.

“Nortel must be put on a sound financial footing once and for all,” Nortel President and Chief Executive Mike Zafirovski said in the statement.

The company has been attempting to recover for years from an accounting crisis that affected results and caused shareholder lawsuits, regulatory investigations and the firing of key executives, including CEO Frank Dunn.