Another big corporation has tumbled into Richmond to file bankruptcy, this time from the radio industry.
Alpha Media, which owns more than 200 radio stations nationwide, arrived in Richmond Sunday with a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, aimed at reducing its more than $200 million in debt and allowing it to stay in business uninterrupted while it weathers a financial storm it says is caused by the pandemic.
The Portland, Oregon-based, privately held company is the latest major out-of-town company to look to Richmond’s federal court for bankruptcy safe haven.
It joins Guitar Center, J. Crew, Pier 1 Imports, Luxembourg-based telecom giant Intelsat, the parent company of clothing stores Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant, and department store chain Lord & Taylor, all of which have filed Chapter 11 in Richmond over the last 12 months.
The local federal courthouse has a reputation as a venue favorable to large debtors and bankruptcy rules allow companies to file in virtually any district in which they conduct business. Alpha Media is able to file here because it owns four stations in nearby Fredericksburg. They include 96.9 The Rock and Live 99.3. Those are its lone holdings in Virginia.
The Alpha Media filing also means another big fish for Richmond bankruptcy attorneys to feed on.
Scoring the coveted role of local counsel were Kutak Rock’s Michael Condyles, Peter Barrett, Jeremy Williams, Laura Kistler and Brian Richardson. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton is Alpha’s lead counsel.
Other Richmond attorneys already on the case representing creditors include Doug Foley, Sarah Beckett Boehm and Dion Hayes, all of McGuireWoods. Other firms representing creditors include Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Fletcher Heald & Hildreth.
More than a dozen Alpha-related entities filed for Chapter 11 simultaneously on Sunday. The cases will all be consolidated under the main entity, Alpha Media Holdings.
Alpha Media bills itself as the largest privately-held radio broadcast and multimedia company in the United States.
It was formed in 2009 and grew through acquisitions to hundreds of stations, which it says reach 11 million listeners in 44 markets.