NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - Tribune Co TRBCQ.PK could emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this year, while the likeliest buyer of its Chicago Cubs baseball team remains the Ricketts family, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
“No plan has been put forward yet, though everybody’s working on one, and I suspect that some time between now and maybe as early as the end of the year, it will exit from bankruptcy,” Sam Zell told CNBC television in an interview.
Zell’s interview came on the same day that Tribune’s hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, reported that the company is seeking a second extension to file its reorganization plan with the U.S. bankruptcy court.
The plan is due on Aug. 4, but the company needs until November, the paper reported.
Tribune filed for bankruptcy in December after going private in a deal led by Zell that resulted in the company having $13 billion in debt.
Tribune plans to sell the Chicago Cubs and its ballpark, Wrigley Field. The Ricketts family, led by Chicago investment banker Tom Ricketts, reached a deal earlier this month to buy the team for slightly less than the original $900 million bid, a source familiar with the deal previously told Reuters. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)