The bankrupt Tribune Company could emerge from protection with its top creditors—and not chairman Sam Zell—in charge, the Chicago Tribune reports. Zell exerts control based on $90 million he spent to secure the option of buying 40% of the company for $500 million, and a $250 million loan. Those numbers pale in comparison to the $8.6 billion Tribune owes lenders with first dibs on assets.
Those creditors include JPMorgan and Citigroup; in all, the company owes $13 billion. “It completely depends on whether the new owners see value in keeping Zell,” an expert said of expected restructuring. “They have to decide: Is the person at the helm when the company went into the storm the most able person to steer it out?” Zell made an $8.2 billion deal in 2007 to take the company private. (Read more Tribune Company stories.)