Up Yours, Conrad Black!
The only surprise about the Sun-Times Co. filing for bankruptcy is the fact that it took so long to reach this point.
The company behind Chicago's perennial underdog paper has long been in Chateau Bow-Wow from a fiscal standpoint.
The bromides were left to Chairman and Interim CEO Jeremy Halbreich in a letter to readers. As for the news story about the Chapter 11 filing, the gloves came off in the story by David Roeder:
The company has one significant creditor -- the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has said Sun-Times Media Group owes up to $608 million in back taxes and penalties from past business practices by its former controlling owner, Conrad Black, now imprisoned for theft from corporate coffers.
Kudos for not beating around the bush and making note that your former owner was a crook and big-time fraud.
Sun-Times Media Group shares are traded on the Pink Sheets and closed Monday worth just a nickel each. That means that based on the stock, the entire company is worth about $4 million. As of Nov. 7, the company had assets of $479 million and liabilities of $801 million, according to the bankruptcy filing.
And now those shareholders foolish enough to hold on, even at that price, will be wiped out, as the article notes. More ominously, for employees, Halbreich said he will use bankruptcy to seek "unspecified concessions."
My guess is you don't need a road map to know where Halbreich is heading with that. Time to fasten your seatbelts over at North Orleans St.