Capital Markets

Gannett Makes Hay from Credit Crunch

The media company buys almost $100 million of floating rate notes at a 5 percent discount enabled by the shaky debt market.
Stephen TaubDecember 12, 2008

The credit crunch isn’t hurting every company. Gannett, for one, is using the turmoil in the debt markets to retire debt and save money.

The media company has made a tender offer for $98.43 million of floating rate notes maturing in May 2009, representing about 13.5 percent of the outstanding securities. The securities were bought at a discount of $950 per $1,000 principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest, according to a regulatory filing.

Gannett CFO Gracia Martore said at an investor conference last week that the company was taking advantage of an opportunity to buy the notes at a discount due to the disturbance in the credit markets. The company used borrowings under its existing credit facilities to buy the securities.

Prior to the tender offer, the company had repurchased $19.4 million in principal amount of the securities in a privately negotiated transaction. Now there will be $632 million outstanding.

Citigroup served as the dealer manager and Global Bondholder Services Corp. served as the information agent for the tender offer.