Houlihan, Others Advise GateHouse in Chapter 11 Emergence/Restructuring
GateHouse Media and certain of its subsidiaries have emerged from prepackaged chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware with a substantially de-levered balance sheet.
Houlihan Lokey Capital acted as financial advisor to Gatehouse, and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor acted as legal counsel.
GateHouse commenced chapter 11 cases on September 27, 2013, with the unanimous support of its existing lenders to implement a comprehensive restructuring of approximately $1.2 billion of debt that was scheduled to come due in August 2014. Upon its emergence from chapter 11, GateHouse is now owned by New Media Investment Group, and is under common ownership with Local Media Group, a company with a strong community media presence and performance that operates eight daily community newspapers and thirteen weeklies.
According to Michael Reed, director and CEO of GateHouse, the bankruptcy filing was a strategic decision to facilitate this restructuring, and GateHouse was able to continue operations while in chapter 11 without disruption. “GateHouse’s plan effected a ‘balance-sheet restructuring’ and allowed GateHouse to emerge from bankruptcy with much less debt on its balance sheet and with its business operations completely intact. Joining with Local Media Group is an important step in growing the GateHouse business and will contribute to GateHouse’s future success as the pre-eminent source for locally focused content, covering and serving our subscribers, advertisers and customers through print, online and other digital products, including mobile applications.”
Pension, trade and all other unsecured creditors of GateHouse were not impaired under the prepackaged plan, and the votes of such unsecured creditors were not solicited. GateHouse’s secured lenders, whose debt was cancelled under the plan, received, at their election, shares in New Media or a 40% cash distribution, and publicly traded shares of GateHouse have been cancelled, with the holders of those shares receiving warrants for New Media stock.
Fairport, NY-based GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by its 78 daily publications.
Previously on abfjournal: GateHouse Media Files Prepackaged Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, September 30, 2013