CHICAGO, March 12 (UPI) -- Expert witnesses at the Tribune Co.'s bankruptcy hearing in Chicago said the firm's publishing interests had dropped to $920 million in value.
The witnesses, Suneel Mandava of Lazard Ltd. and John Chachas, who left Lazard to start his own firm, said the value of the publishing division had dropped, even though the company had slowed a severe cash flow leak. The Tribune Co. had taken steps to arrest the leak "by firing people," but had not increased revenue, they said, The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.
The figure was contested by junior creditors, who have been offered 34 cents on the dollar in one restructuring plan offered by senior creditors.
Hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management and others are pressing to have the valueof the publishing interests increased, which would increase the size of their claims.
The figure shows how sharply the value has fallen for the division that runs The Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers. In recent years, Tribune Co. entertained offers of $2 billion for the Los Angeles Times alone, the newspaper said.
The entire Tribune Co., including broadcasting interests and minor subsidiaries, was valued at $6.75 billion.
The financial advisers said the firm held $4.7 billion worth of other investments and $1.7 billion in cash.