Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Penton files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

"Penton is not going out of business." Cheery.

Penton Media announced today that they had reached an agreement with its lenders to restructure its debt. According to the company, the deal with eliminate $270 million of company debt, give the company additional capitol, and extent the maturity date of Penton's senior secured credit facility through 2014.  

The entire Penton press release is after the jump.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PENTON MEDIA REACHES COMPREHENSIVE
DEBT RESTRUCTURING AGREEMENT WITH ITS LENDERS


Owners to Make New Investment and Maintain Control

Company’s Operations Will Continue Without Interruption, and
Publication, Digital, and Trade Show Schedules Will Be Unaffected

New York, NY (Tuesday, February 9, 2010) – Penton Media (“Penton” or “the Company”), a leading business-to-business media company, announced today that it has reached an agreement with its lenders on the terms of a restructuring that will reduce the Company’s debt and strengthen its balance sheet. Once finalized, the restructuring will result in the elimination of $270 million of the Company’s debt. In addition, certain of Penton’s existing shareholders have agreed to make a significant new investment in the Company, which will provide additional working capital to fund operations and improve Penton’s overall liquidity. The restructuring agreement also provides for an extension of the maturity on the Company’s senior secured credit facility through 2014.

“This capital restructuring is a positive, strategic step for Penton that is in the best interests of the Company and our employees, customers, and suppliers,” said Sharon Rowlands, Chief Executive Officer of Penton. “This restructuring will allow us to achieve a debt level that is more sustainable in the current economic environment. With a strengthened capital structure, we will be better positioned to fully leverage our operations, which have been and continue to be profitable. We have many opportunities to grow our business and increase our profitability which we are excited to execute on.”

"We are pleased to have reached agreement with our lenders and thank them for their support," said Anup Bagaria and Tyler Zachem, Co-Chairmen of Penton. "Penton will emerge as a stronger company as a result of this transaction, and we believe that the Company is well- positioned for future success due to its market leading franchises and outstanding management team."

The parties intend to implement the capital restructuring through a “pre-packaged” Chapter 11 plan of reorganization (the “Plan”), which has already been approved by lenders and is expected to be filed with the Court in next few days. The Company expects that it will finalize the capital restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 within 30 to 45 days.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Penton intends to operate with business as usual throughout the restructuring and has solid cash flow and sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations. The Company will continue to offer the industry-leading products and services that its customers rely on and will do so on a normal schedule and with the same superior quality. The Company’s trusted print publications, events, and digital products will continue to provide customers with the information needed to compete and the connections needed to succeed.

Further, there will be no management changes or change in control of the Company.

“Operationally, nothing will change during this debt restructuring,” Ms. Rowlands said. “We remain committed to serving our customers and readers by providing them with the same high quality products and services we always have. In addition, we have taken steps to make sure our employees and independent contractors are unaffected by the Chapter 11 process. Employees will continue to be paid and receive their benefits without interruption.”

“We are taking this action voluntarily because we are committed to achieving our long-term vision for the Company,” said Ms. Rowlands.

The Company's suppliers will be paid in the ordinary course for all post-petition goods and services provided to Penton. Further, the Plan provides for full payment of all pre-petition trade claims, so there should be no impact on Penton’s suppliers.

“I am extremely proud of the way our entire organization has responded to the challenging circumstances in the economy and in our industry, and this further contributes to my confidence that Penton has a very bright future,” Ms. Rowlands added. “I would like to thank ouremployees for their hard work and dedication, which is critical to our success. I would also like to thank our customers and suppliers for their continued loyalty and support. The entire senior management team, our owners – MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co., LP – and our Board of Directors are committed to continuing to build on Penton’s strong foundation and valued brands to drive long-term growth and success.”

Rothschild Inc. is acting as financial advisor for the Company, and Jones Day is the Company’s legal counsel in connection with the capital restructuring. For more information about the restructuring, please visit: http://www.penton.com/restructuring.  

2 Comments:

Unesourismorte said...

Too bad really. Now that they have gotten relief from their lenders, how long until the lenders demand more cuts?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a world without "spin" be great?

The Penton release claims it has "solid cash flow and sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations".

Then, why are they in bankruptcy?

Penton claims they've filed for federal protection "because we are committed to achieving our long-term vision for the company."

How about the honest answer: "We can't pay our debts, so we're filing for bankruptcy. We tried to buy profitability by snapping up other publishers until we got outselves so far in debt that we can't possibly pay what we owe. Our bankers were stupid enough to loan us money they should have known was at risk from day one. Now, the jig is up."

The last thing media firms are honest about is themselves.