Thursday, December 18, 2008

IFA chairman's firm to sit out on Tribune bankruptcy

By Ameet Sachdev | Tribune staff reporter

William Brandt, chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, said that his consulting firm will have no role in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Brandt said Wednesday that some Tribune Co. creditors have approached his company, Chicago-based Development Specialists Inc., to see if the company would advise them. Development Specialists specializes in bankruptcy advisory services to debtors and creditors. Brandt is president and chief executive officer.

Brandt and IFA staff have had discussions recently with Tribune Co. officials over financing the sale of Tribune-owned Wrigley Field to the state. Because of those negotiations, Brandt said it was best for his company to stay away from the bankruptcy of the media company, which also owns the Chicago Tribune, filed in Delaware.

"To pass on the Tribune case is a big sacrifice," Brandt said.

The U.S. trustee in the case will appoint on Thursday a committee to represent the largest unsecured creditors. The committee will then hire lawyers and financial advisers to assist with its duties. The selection process is usually done by a so-called beauty contest, where lawyers and other professionals make a pitch to represent the committee.

Development Specialists was invited to participate in the beauty contest, Brandt said.

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