The parent company of the Pantagraph Newspaper in Bloomington is buying more time to repay some of its massive debt. Lee Enterprises says it has refinanced $175 million in borrowing and gained a lower interest rate and five more years to repay the loans. Instead of repaying $175 million by 2017, Lee will pay 200 million by the year 2022. The interest rate goes from 15% to 12%. To allow the deal, the debt holders will also be able to buy about 10% of the stock in the company that publishes newspapers and specialty publications in more than 50 markets including Bloomington-Normal and Saint Louis. Lee Chairman and CEO Mary Junk says the company also hopes to refinance its first tier debt of $600 million which comes due in less than two years.
Support Your Public Radio Station