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On Dec. 8, 2008, all but eight of the 128 Tribune Company corporate entities filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.1 Tribune is a leading media and entertainment conglomerate that owns nationally recognized print and internet-based media operations reaching more than 80 percent of U.S. households, as well as a major league baseball team. Approximately one year prior to their filing, Tribune completed an ESOP-based2 leveraged buyout to a group managed by Sam Zell, an experienced distress investor. As the cornerstone of its chapter 11 plan, Tribune proposed the settlement of various causes of action among its senior and junior lenders, giving rise to bitter disputes within the senior secured lending group and their adamant opposition to the plan. Not surprisingly, an indenture trustee for junior bondholders sought and obtained the appointment of an examiner to investigate the debtors’ potential causes of action in connection with the ESOP LBO against the debtors’ former and present management, former and present board members, the debtors’ lead lenders, and the various advisors. The inquiry was to include claims for fraudulent conveyance, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting the same, and equitable subordination. In addition, the examiner was directed to examine any defenses such parties could assert.

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