McClatchy's Creditors Offer To Buy Company

Amid mounting legal fees stemming from its bankruptcy case and financial fallout amid the COVID-19 pandemic, McClatchy’s creditors have moved to buy the company.

On Thursday, McClatchy creditors Chatham Asset Management and Brigade Capital Management set a sale price of more than $300 million. If the move is approved, it would ignite an auction for McClatchy among interested buyers.

McClatchy has stated it will remain one company under the terms of its discussions.

"We appreciate the support of our principal existing lenders, who have come to the table with an offer that is generally consistent with our goals of addressing our legacy balance sheet issues and emerging from Chapter 11 as a viable going concern, while continuing to provide strong independent, local journalism in the public interest," stated Craig Forman, president-CEO.

"Our mission of producing essential local news and information for the communities we serve has never been more vital. The interest in our business and mission reflects this, with more than 20 parties already under NDA and engaged in our process."



McClatchy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

Last week, the company announced it was eliminating some executive posts and furloughing ad staff. The cuts affected more than 4% of its 2,770 employees. Forman took a 50% pay cut in the move, and five members of the company’s executive team reduced their overall compensation by approximately 15%.

In an internal memo to staff, Forman wrote: “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard, and we are no different. But, this crisis also has highlighted what we have repeatedly said with regard to our restructuring efforts: When you take away the pension and the debt, this is an operating company of strength and resilience. We are at an advantage because of the balance between audience and advertising revenue — to the credit of this team that has worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome of our digital transition. 

He continued: “Because of this, we have the hard-earned ability to be thoughtful in how we approach this challenge. Rather than quickly taking an enterprise-wide action, we can first embrace what has become our brand — sober, prudent, clear-eyed data-driven decision-making that reflects the strategic vision we all have for our news organization and the commitment we have to our communities, not just in 2020 but in 2021, 2022 and beyond.”
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