Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tribune Creditor Wells Fargo To Grill Sam Zell

By: Lynne Marek

(Crain's) — Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell is slated to be questioned under oath later this month by one of the creditors in the Chicago-based media company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Wells Fargo & Co., the agent for Tribune creditors owed $1.6 billion, said in a Delaware Bankruptcy Court filing Wednesday that it expects to take Mr. Zell’s deposition in New York on June 28.

The Wells Fargo creditors have objected to the company’s proposed plan of reorganization, under which they would receive only a fraction of what they are owed.

The plan would also require that creditors not sue Tribune officials, including Mr. Zell, or the bank lenders who enabled his leveraged buyout of the company a year before it filed for bankruptcy in December 2008. Some creditors have called the transaction a “fraudulent conveyance” that set the company up for insolvency.

The Tribune didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The same creditors earlier this month also objected to millions of dollars of bonuses that would be provided to top Tribune executives and managers under bonus plans.

Broadcast Union News: Tribune's non-executive employees are not exactly thrilled about the bonuses either. -BD

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