American Media Emerges from Bankruptcy

By Steve Cohn
12/29/2010

The official end to National Enquirer/Shape/Star parent American Media Inc.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing came at 5 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, Dec. 22. The news became a fait accompli after U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Martin Glenn’s Dec. 20 approval of AMI president/chairman/CEO (since April 1999) David Pecker’s prepackaged plan to convert bondholders into shareholders and eliminate $355 million in debt. The bankruptcy lasted just five weeks: Nov. 17-Dec. 22.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Pecker said that the restructuring gives AMI an annual cash flow of $50 million. "I will now be able to look for potential magazine and digital acquisitions," he said. The last major AMI deal was the Nov. 2002 purchase of Weider Publications (Shape/Muscle & Fitness, etc.) for $350 million.