Summit Business Media Enters Bankruptcy Protection
(Press Release) NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2011—Summit Business Media today announced approvals from 83% of its lenders for a debt restructuring plan that will cut its outstanding debt obligations by more than half, or approximately $135 million, and materially enhance the Company's financial position. The agreement by most of the Company's lenders was achieved in advance of its filing of a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The Company said it expects to emerge from the restructuring during the first half of 2011.
The plan provides for Summit's continued normal operations. A voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a formal, court-supervised procedure that allows otherwise healthy companies to address balance sheet issues, achieve consensus among their financial constituencies and emerge from the process with appropriate debt levels. Other major B2B media companies that have successfully gone through this process include Penton, Cygnus and Questex, among others.
"Summit Business Media is a fundamentally sound and profitable company," said Andrew L. Goodenough, President and CEO. "We believe that Summit is well-positioned to take advantage of economic growth coming out of this unusually deep downturn as the industries we serve rebound. We look forward to a speedy resolution of our balance sheet restructuring while we remain focused on delivering quality products for readers and marketers in the markets we serve."
He added, "While Summit has emerged from the downturn as a smaller but healthier company, we have too much debt to support our current business operations, left over from when Summit was a larger, acquisition-oriented company. We view this reorganization process as the last step in a two-year strategic refocusing of Summit on our core markets."
Subject to court approval, Summit will use its bank balances, currently in excess of $10 million in cash, and cash flow from its operations to meet its working capital needs throughout the reorganization process. Any pre-filing advertising, subscription and event contracts will be honored in full. Summit will pay all vendors for goods and services received during the reorganization process, and Summit employees will receive uninterrupted wages and benefits. In addition, the Company's lenders have agreed to provide a debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility of $5 million to support the Company's additional working capital needs, if any, during the restructuring.