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Belo Corp. Message Board

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  • belobuster belobuster Jun 10, 2011 9:03 AM Flag

    PLAN B

    Well, I applaud your interest in trying to better the company's position, but I disagree. As we sit now we have a company that is generating avg annual Ebitda of $230mm and pays interest expense that is less than $70mm and falling. By my calculations that adds up to an avg of $160mm in pre-tax income for equity holders. Why would you want to sell off stations and pay off low-cost debt holders, deleveraging the company even further? Especially when as you say:

    "the major beneficiaries of all this (cash flow from ops over next 2 years) will be the bond holders which are receiving the interest and are enjoying the security of a much stronger company with much less risk on their bond position."

    Why would you want to help them out some more? Bondholders would love to have the company tender for the bonds and pay them a huge premium. Reducing the size of the company and eliminating leverage only hurts shareholders as FCF/share would drop significantly and the share price would reflect these dynamics.

    I would actually argue that the company is under-leveraged as they pay way too much in cash taxes. By YE 2012, BLC will be leveraged around 3x and is paying cash taxes in the $60-$70mm range. I am sure management agrees and that is the reason they are continually looking at acquisitions - but sellers are demanding multiples that are just too high.

    Absent a sale of the entire company for one of these large multiples, the company should be focusing on leveraging up a bit more - locking in low-cost bank facility with attractive terms - and increasing the dividend.