UPDATE 1-RHI files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:14pm EST

NEW YORK Dec 10 (Reuters) - RHI Entertainment Inc , maker of made-for-television movies, mini-series, and other television programming, on Friday filed for bankruptcy in order to implement a plan of reorganization.

The company, whose programs have appeared on the Hallmark Channel, Liftime, Spike TV, broadcast channels and others, reported assets of $524.7 million and debts of $834.1 million in its bankruptcy petition, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. It has about 60 employees, according to the filing.

The New York-based company filed a prepackaged bankruptcy, which is a plan of reorganization voted on before filing for bankruptcy. It allows a filer to emerge from bankruptcy relatively quickly. RHI said it expects to exit bankruptcy in the first quarter 2011.

The restructuring plan will make its creditors its new owners. It will reduce the company's total debt by about 51 percent, or $309 million, lower interest costs, extend maturities and increase liquidity.

The company also agreed to eliminate, reduce and amend the payment terms associated with over $100 million in potential claims of a number of creditors including various production partners and talent unions.

Of those voting, 99 percent by dollar amount of the holders of the scenario claims and 100 percent of the second lien approve the plan, the company said in a statement.

RHI has secured a commitment for a $15 million debtor-in-possession revolving credit Facility from JPMorgan Chase Bank, which will provide financing to complete the confirmation of its Plan and pay its clients, employees and suppliers.

In addition, the New York-based company expects to have a $25 million revolving credit facility when it emerges from Chapter 11.