News

HMH restructures debt with pre-packaged bankruptcy

US publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has agreed with the majority of its senior secured lenders and bondholders to enter into a pre-packaged chapter 11 bankruptcy, in a move set to eliminate $3.1bn (£1.93bn) of debt and reduce interest costs.

More than 70% of its senior secured lenders and bondholders have approved the financial restructuring plan, with acceptance now being sought from its "broader lender, bondholder and shareholder constituencies".

In a statement, the academic and trade publisher said it expects the bankruptcy period to be over swiftly, "likely by the end of June 2012".

President and chief executive officer Linda K Zecher said there are no plans for redundancies and suppliers will be paid in full. She said: "We are excited to have reached an agreement with our lenders and bondholders on a financial restructuring plan that will equitize our current long-term debt and put HMH in a financially stronger position for the future.

"With a more appropriately-sized capital structure and greater financial flexibility, along with our world-class brand and innovative digital education solutions, we will be well-positioned to accelerate our growth initiatives and expand our digital platform."

In January this year, the company struck a deal with Amazon.com to print and distribute titles from the retailer's East Coast Group adult imprint.

In October 2010, former HMH c.e.o. Barry O'Callaghan said the publisher's debt was manageable, with bankers taking over the company in February of that year.