Last week, I asked for some help interpreting a filing by a firm that has given the Star Tribune antitrust advice. I’m always on the lookout for signs of the Strib and Pioneer Press further combining operations.
A lawyer with experience in bankruptcy matters sent me this analysis, asking to be anonymous because it’s speculation:
About your inquiry regarding the Washington, D.C. lawfirm’s $314.00 bill in 2008 for anti-trust work:
I can speculate that [the firm] doesn’t want its bill to be discharged because it will continue to provide “new value” (bankruptcy term of art) while the paper is in Chapter 11, particularly on the anti-trust issue.
It’s no secret that there has been discussion of combining the PiPress with the Strib, but the question has been how and what.
I think it’s reasonable conjecture that this firm is looking to posture itself to be a prominent player in the Plan of Reorganization’s proposition that the company emerging from Chapter 11 will be stronger, because it will be a consolidated entity without the “shackles” of burdensome Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Basically, this means the D.C.-based firm, Baker Hostetler, thinks more antitrust work will be coming from a “healthier” post-bankruptcy Strib — and wants a piece of it.
I’ve put a call into Donald Workman, the Baker attorney who made the filing, but no callback yet. Other insights welcome.