Bogged down by a whopping $21.7 billion debt load, the biggest US cable TV operator Charter Communications Inc, after having worked out the details of a so-called "pre-arranged" bankruptcy with some of its creditors, filed a Chapter 11 petition with the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Friday.
In its bankruptcy filing, Charter - the St. Louis-based company, controlled by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen - listed assets of $13.8 billion as of December 31. The company said that it sought bankruptcy protection chiefly because it had built up a heavy debt-load over years of expansions and acquisitions.
As per the bankruptcy terms, Charter's nearly $12 billion in bank and bond debt would be reinstated. However, the bankruptcy issue might just become slightly complicated due to the fact that JPMorgan and Bank of America are the lead lenders on nearly $8.5 billion of the debt.
Nonetheless, there has been a consensus among a majority of Charter's bondholders, who have agreed to swap some of their debt for equity, and infuse capital to the tune of $3 billion into the company by the way of new investment and the refinancing of debt.
In a statement, Charter CEO Neil Smit said: "The support of our bondholders and their new investment in Charter also underscores their confidence in our company and business."
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