The Journal Register Co. -- which
publishes The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, among other newspapers, and which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (for the second time) in September of this year --
has entered into a “stalking horse” purchase agreement that will allow it to begin an auction process.
According to Journal Register Co. owner Digital First Media, Journal Register has reached a tentative purchase agreement with 21st CMH Acquisition Co., a fund associated with Alden Global Capital, which owns Digital First Media. The deal has been submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which should then allow the company to proceed with a general auction.
Digital First Media CEO John Paton stated: “This agreement allows the formal commencement of the sale process and is a big step toward creating a new and viable company.”
As noted, this is the second Chapter 11 filing for the Journal Register Co. Its previous owners filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2009, enabling a restructuring that was complete by August of that year.
2011, Journal Register was acquired by Alden Global Capital, and that September, the new owners of the Journal Register Co. created a management company, Digital First Media, which also assumed
control of digital properties owned by the MediaNews Group, publisher of The Denver Post, Detroit News and The Salt Lake City Tribune.
In a previous memo to employees explaining the second bankruptcy filing, Paton noted that “from 2009 to 2011, Journal Register Company’s print advertising revenue declined 19% and print advertising represents more than half of the Company’s revenues.”