December 10, 2008
Tribune Co. First Day Declaration
These First Day Declarations are very useful in understanding why a company filed bankruptcy and what its "challenges" are for the future. The Tribune Co. First Day Declaration of Chandler Bigelow III (I don't make it up pal-y as Jim Healy used to say) - 90 pages in all - can be accessed here. It's a nice explanation of what the Tribune owns, specifically, and results of recent operations. The financing arrangements are mind-numbing. Surprisingly the declaration says that the debtor, i.e., the 110 companies that filed and the companies that did not, has $7.6 billion in assets and $13.9 billion in liabilities. You read that and say "Why bother"? But on closer inspection, the $7.6 billion is the number on the consolidated balance sheet which, of course, shows assets at "book value," i.e., the amount paid for the asset less depreciation. The assets must have a fair market value considerably higher than $7.6 billion.
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