Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last to Enter Bankruptcy, ACN is First to Emerge

American Community Newspapers (ACN), which in April became the seventh and most recent newspaper company to declare bankruptcy in the industry recession, has become the first to emerge from its protection.

In a memo to employees, CEO Gene Carr said the chain closed the sale to its creditors on Friday. ACN's emergence from bankruptcy was first reported Monday by MinnPost media writer David Brauer.

ACN's prepackaged bankruptcy plan was approved by a judge in Delaware earlier this month. Under the plan, the chain --which publishes the Stillwater (Minn.) Gazette and clusters of community papers in Texas, Ohio and suburban WashingtonD.C. -- was for $32 million plus $5 million in post-bankruptcy financing to its creditors, including the General Electric Corp. andthe Bank of Montreal.

At the time of its bankruptcy filing, ACN said it had $102 million in debt.

The chain’s parent company will be known as American Community Newspapers II.

“Under our new ownership, our debt has been substantially reduced, which places us in a much better position to execute onour business strategy, serve our communities, and provide ample opportunities for our employees,” Carr wrote in the memo.

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