Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Tribune Co. creditors apparently have had enough of CEO Sam Zell and are working on a reorganization plan that would essentially break up the company and get him out. Story lacks detail and the process is still ongoing, but there have been rumblings in recent weeks that the creditors want out. Before they can file a reorganization plan, however, the company must be given a chance to submit its own plan. A bankruptcy judge has given Tribune until Nov. 30 to do so.
William Brandt Jr., a corporate turnaround expert not involved in the case, said enough time has passed so that creditors and the debtor want to cut losses and save face. He said an honorable exit is especially important to Zell, who might need investment banking help for future deals.
Still, Tribune financial reports filed with the bankruptcy court show recent improvement. The company's cash on hand rose to $740.5 million as of June 28, up from $702 million in late May. It reported profitable operations in June aside from debt obligations, but for the period from Dec. 8, 2008 to June 28 it said it lost $836.5 million. The numbers don't include units such as the Cubs, which were left out of the bankruptcy filing.