The court-appointed examiner investigating Tribune Co's descent into bankruptcy said he has completed his report but cannot make it fully public because various parties are bickering over its contents.
The report, which investigates whether real estate developer Sam Zell's 2007 leveraged buyout of Tribune left the media company insolvent, is of particular interest to junior bondholders, who say their best hope of a recovery from the bankruptcy would lie in billions of dollars of senior claims being disallowed.
Kenneth Klee, the examiner, said he will file a redacted version of his report on Monday with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, a Friday court filing showed. Only the judge and a limited number of closely involved parties will see the entire report initially.
Klee said many people believe some material used in the report should remain confidential. He said he hopes to resolve these issues at an August 9 hearing, following which the report would be made public.
Tribune on Monday objected to the delay, saying that Tribune and other parties, including the official committee of unsecured creditors, need the report, the exhibits and the transcripts as soon as possible to prepare for a hearing on confirming its plan of reorganization.
Tribune asked the court for an order authorizing the report's immediate disclosure, saying that the confidentiality measures already put in place, such as a secure document website, are enough to protect sensitive information.
Klee said almost 4.3 million pages of documents have been produced as part of the his investigation.
Among Tribune's businesses are the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times newspapers, as well as television stations such as the superstation WGN and WPIX-TV in New York.
In a separate court filing on Friday, Klee asked the bankruptcy court to formally release him from his duties, and shield him from possible lawsuits arising from his work as examiner.
The case is In re: Tribune Co et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 08-13141.
(Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; additional reporting by Chelsea Emery in New York; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy and Gerald E. McCormick)