Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said in a regulatory filing that it may file for bankruptcy protection, reports the Associated Press. A miserable advertising market and crippling debt burden may force the Baltimore-based broadcaster into Chapter 11.
Sinclair had $1.33 billion of outstanding debt as of March 31, according to the AP, and holders of its 3% convertible senior notes and 4.875% senior subordinated notes may require Sinclair to buy back nearly $500 million worth of that debt within the next 18 months.
Sinclair said it doesn't have the cash to buy back that debt in its SEC filing. It is negotiating with lenders to restructure the notes.
"In addition, under certain circumstances, creditors may file an involuntary petition for bankruptcy against us," the company said in the 8-K filing. "Due to the possibility of such circumstances occurring, we have begun planning for such potential restructurings."
Sinclair also cited the declining financial health of Cunningham Broadcasting Corp., one of its local marketing agreement partners.
Sinclair stock plummeted on the news yesterday, ending the day at $1.46. It was down to $1.01 around noon today.
The company will address its financial issues on a conference call today at 3 p.m.
Sinclair owns 58 stations, including 20 Fox outlets.