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ETF News

UPDATE 1-Freedom Communications may declare bankruptcy-source

* Freedom could file bankruptcy this week - source

* Freedom has reached agreements with lenders - report (Recasts; adds new sourcing)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Freedom Communications Inc, owner of the Orange County Register newspaper, is expected to file for bankruptcy this week, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

Freedom, which has been majority owned for more than 70 years by the Hoiles family, has reached agreements with its lenders to restructure its debts, according to a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal. The lenders include JPMorgan Chase JPM.N, SunTrust and Union Bank of California.

Freedom, which owns of more than 30 other daily newspapers and eight television stations, will continue to operate under bankruptcy protection, the Journal said.

“We are continuing to work with our lenders to address our balance sheet,” a Freedom spokesman told the newspaper.

Neither Freedom nor the banks involved could not be immediately reached for comment.

Private-equity firms Blackstone Group BX.N and Providence Equity Partners had acquired a 40 percent equity stake in Freedom in 2004 for about $460 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. (For more M&A news and our DealZone blog, go to here)

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