Key milestone reached in the reorganization process that advances resolution to McClatchy's legacy debt and pension obligations and ensures the sustainability of independent local journalism in 30 communities across the U.S.
Sale to Chatham expected to complete in September
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The McClatchy Company (OTC-MNIQQ) ("McClatchy") today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the "Court") has approved the sale of substantially all of McClatchy's assets, including all 30 of McClatchy's news organizations, to Chatham Asset Management LLC ("Chatham").
Chatham emerged as the successful bidder during an auction held on July 10, 2020. As previously disclosed, Chatham will acquire substantially all of McClatchy's assets for approximately $263 million in a credit bid of McClatchy's first-lien debt, plus new money consideration of approximately $49 million in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. McClatchy expects to complete the transaction in September.
"This is a major milestone towards McClatchy's successful resolutions of its court-supervised reorganization process and towards the sustainability of independent local journalism in the 30 communities that we serve," said Craig Forman, President and CEO of McClatchy. "As McClatchy transitions with a strengthened capital structure, the company will be well positioned to accelerate the digital transformation our team has worked so hard to achieve."
"We look forward to completing the transaction expeditiously so that McClatchy can continue to focus on the important journalism on which local communities depend," said Chatham.
Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement approved by the Court, the entirety of the 30 McClatchy news organizations will move seamlessly to the new ownership structure under Chatham and employees will be offered their current job with new McClatchy, with equivalent compensation, benefits and full credit for service years. The agreement also provides that new McClatchy will honor all current collective-bargaining agreements.
"I want to extend my deepest appreciation to my colleagues at McClatchy for their resilience and patience during this process, and for their steadfast commitment to essential, local journalism. Our communities are better informed and stronger because of your work," added Forman.
McClatchy continues to expect that PBGC will assume the assets and liabilities of the qualified pension plan and continue to pay benefits to the plan participants, subject to federal statutory limits, with no adverse impact for substantially all plan participants.
McClatchy operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with strong independent local journalism in the public interest and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy publishes iconic local brands including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif. #ReadLocal
Statements in this press release regarding the agreement, as well as the restructuring and sale process, and any other statements about management's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects, including our planned sale to Chatham, constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the failure to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner or otherwise; the failure to obtain the satisfaction or waiver of the other conditions to closing of the sale transaction; the effects of the Court rulings in the Chapter 11 proceedings and the outcome of the proceedings in general; the length of time McClatchy will operate in the Chapter 11 proceedings; as well as the other risks listed in the Company's publicly filed documents, including McClatchy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2019. These forward-looking statements speak as of the time made and, except as required by law, we disclaim any intention and assume no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this release.