Reader's Digest Association Inc. has emerged from bankruptcy, after the successful implementation of its prepackaged plan of reorganization. The company now has 75% less debt. ABC reports:
Reader's Digest, which filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in August, comes out of bankruptcy with $525 million in exit financing and a new board of directors that includes Fredric Reynolds, former chief financial officer of CBS Corp (CBS.N).
The company, best known for its namesake magazine, had been laboring under almost $2.3 billion in debt before filing for bankruptcy. But under its reorganization, the company was able to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and restructure other loans to save money.
Holders of Reader's Digest pre-petition senior secured debt will receive almost all of the new common stock. Private equity firm Ripplewood, which bought the company in 2007 for $1.6 billion, has no ownership stake going forward.
Over time, Reader's Digest has moved away from being known solely for its cornerstone magazine, expanding into some 78 branded websites, and selling as many as 40 million books, music and video products around the world each year. It also publishes food and lifestyle magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray.
The New York Times has an interesting article about the founding of the original magazine and mail order service, and how it changed over time.