Who owns the Star Tribune?
David Brauer has two after-hours scoops today. He's the first to put a number on how many Star Tribune reporters will lose employment thanks to the recently announced cuts: 25. They'll be offered buyouts, and if they don't take them, they'll be offered pink slips in January, according to Editor Nancy Barnes.
But to my eyes, the more interesting story is that the Star Tribune has new owners (!?):
Avista Capital Partners is out (their equity evaporated long ago). The paper's primary creditors would do what's known as a debt-for-equity swap; in return for assuming ownership, they'd write down the roughly $400 million they're owed to $200 million.
So who actually owns the Star Tribune? We may have an answer.
It wasn't so long ago that we were being told that the creditors would never take over ownership of the paper, because they wouldn't want to get their hands dirty running the thing.
Lindquist & Venum bankruptcy attorney George Singer said the Star Tribune's senior investors are unlikely to take over the paper or order that its assets be sold, though they could, since the newspaper is now essentially at the mercy of its lenders.
"Sometimes lenders say, 'What's your plan here to get us paid?' They may want the company to sell to a stronger organization, or get another financing option," he said.
So who are the senior creditors?
The senior lenders include Credit Suisse, according to UCC filings with the secretary of state in Delaware, where the newspaper is incorporated.
The Credit Suisse Group (SWX: CSGN, NYSE: CS) is a financial services company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Credit Suisse was founded by Alfred Escher in 1856 under the name Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA, Swiss Credit Institution). The bank is organized into three divisions, Investment Banking, Private Banking, and Asset Management. Shared Services, which includes functions such as IT and legal/compliance, encompasses all three major areas.
And as of this morning, Credit Suisse is pretty well fucked, if you'll excuse the French:
Credit Suisse plans 5,300 job cuts after $2.5 bln loss
Risk exposure reduced in investment banking; executives won't get bonus
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Credit Suisse said Thursday that it will cut roughly 5,300, or 11%, of its jobs after posting a loss of around 3 billion Swiss francs ($2.5 billion) for the first two months of the fourth quarter.