April 11, 2009
Labor Dept. issues Tribune Co. subpoena
The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the Tribune Co.'s employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, company officials say.
The Tribune Co. Friday told reporters from the newspaper it owns, The Chicago Tribune, that it has complied with a March 2 subpoena from Labor Department authorities seeking
an extensive range of documents.
We view this as a routine inquiry and are responding by producing the requested documents concerning the ESOP, a statement released by the company said.
The ESOP was set up in December 2007 to take the company private, part of a complex bid by Chicago real estate billionaire Sam Zell to buy the Tribune Co., which owns the Tribune, the Chicago Cubs and other major newspapers and radio and television stations.
The highly leveraged deal saddled Tribune Co. with nearly $13 billion in debt, and establishing the ESOP provided it with tax advantages, the newspaper reported. The Tribune Co. declared bankruptcy in December in the face of declining advertising revenues.