Bondholders OK Ziff Davis Restructuring, Prevent Bankruptcy

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A financial restructuring plan for Ziff Davis Media Inc. gained the approval of 95.1 percent of its bondholders, the company said yesterday, allowing it to proceed with the plan.


Disclosure of the plan was postponed several times from its original July 30 release amid rumors that the company might enter bankruptcy protection. However, the privately held publishing firm finally reached an agreement with bondholders Aug. 9. The bondholders will receive an aggregate of $21.2 million in cash and $90.3 million in new notes as well as $28.5 million in shares of common stock, according to the plan.


In addition, controlling shareholder Willis Stein & Partners, a private equity firm, will contribute $80 million in exchange for a new series of preferred stock and warrants for the purchase of common stock of Ziff Davis Holdings Inc.


"As a result of the restructuring, the company will reduce its outstanding debt by $147.4 million and its cash debt service requirements over the next several years by over $30 million annually," said an announcement from Ziff Davis, New York.


Ziff Davis has closed six of its 15 publications over the past year because of the troubling times in the publishing industry. Closures included Yahoo Internet Life, Family PC, Inter@ctive Week and eShopper. Its remaining titles include PC Magazine and several gaming publications and technology trade publications.


Meanwhile, Worldata, Boca Raton, FL, will assume management of Ziff Davis' controlled-circulation files Aug. 15.


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