Tribune Co., citing "vigorous negotiations" toward a new settlement with its creditors, asked the judge in its bankruptcy case for more time to work out a reorganization plan that "would maximize consensus" around a deal.
The move comes as the various bickering parties in the case realign their positions based on the findings in an independent examiner's report on the Chicago media conglomerate's 2007 leveraged buyout.
That report, issued late last month, suggested the $8.2-billion buyout orchestrated by Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell may have rendered the company insolvent from Day One, lending support to various creditors' arguments.
Initially, that caused U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey at an Aug. 3 hearing to extend deadlines for voting and confirmation hearings in the 20-month-old case, pushing its possible resolution into October from the end of this month.
But in a motion filed late last week, Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, said it would be "imprudent" to hew to those new deadlines, which would require creditors to vote on the plan by Friday. The reason, a source said, was that negotiations may lead to an altered settlement with different terms that would require more study by the creditors expected to vote on them.
Tribune Co. didn't ask for a specific new schedule, leaving it to the court's discretion. Carey will consider the motion at a hearing in Delaware on Tuesday.