Former Tribune Company Shareholders Hit With At Least 15 Lawsuits This Week

Former shareholders of the Tribune Company were hit with a wave of massive lawsuits this week–at least 15 according to Courthouse News Service. Many of the suits, filed by Tribune Co. creditors, allege shareholders lined their own pockets with company resources during the course of the 2007 leveraged buyout of the company.

Bloomberg has the details of perhaps the biggest suit, filed by Deutsche Bank.

“The LBO lined the pockets of Tribune’s former shareholders with $8.5 billion of cash at the expense of Tribune’s creditors, and precipitated Tribune’s careen into bankruptcy,” the Deutsche Bank unit said in the complaints. It asks to recover money paid to shareholders in the buyout that creditors labeled “fraudulent transfers.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of Tribune Co. retirees, as well as those of the Times Mirror Company, which formerly owned the LA Times, are suing for $109 million. The retirees complaint alleged that “Tribune, pressured by its majority shareholders and lured by a scheme orchestrated by Sam Zell, abandoned its duties and obligations to its retirees, employees and creditors.”