Filed at 10:50 a.m. EST on May 26, 2009
A United States Bankruptcy Court has granted Ion's "first day requests" following the broadcaster's announcement that it was filing for Chapter 11. The requests include "continued use of cash on hand, as well as access to an additional $25 million of initial funding from a majority of the company's first lien secured lenders." The funding is part of a proposed financial restructuring, said Ion in a statement, "that contemplates a significant de-leveraging and additional capital for growth."
Ion filed for Chapter 11 last week and announced an accord with debt holders "that would extinguish all of its indebtedness through a debt-to-equity conversion."
Prior to hitting a financial pitfall, Ion had emerged as a more ambitious acquirer of programming, grabbing off-network series like Ghost Whisperer and Boston Legal and announcing a slate of original films at an upfront presentation in March.
"We are pleased with the process thus far and appreciate the support from our senior lenders to reduce our legacy indebtedness and provide cash funding for growth," said Chairman/CEO Brandon Burgess. "We look forward to working with all of our senior lenders to quickly implement a restructuring that finally provides a clean balance sheet, allowing the company to execute its growth strategy."
Ion said it remains in "active discussions" to acquire more syndicated and original programming, and says viewers will continue to get "uninterrupted service" throughout the restructuring process.