Tribune creditors seek right to sue chairman and shareholders

It is alleged the Tribune's chairman among others caused massive damage to the Tribune.

The Tribune Company's unsecured creditors on Monday appealed to a bankruptcy judge, seeking the right to sue the company's chairman, Sam Zell, and a group of other participants involved in the firm's 2007 leveraged buyout.

The official committee of unsecured creditors said that Zell, the shareholders and six other investors "collectively caused massive damage" to Tribune.

Although the committee did not signal an imminent lawsuit, it is reported to have told US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey that it is keen on protecting its right to file the case if mediation among Tribune's creditors fails.

The judge appointed a mediator for the talks this month after a previous deal broke down.

The committee also said that while they do not want to interfere with ongoing negotiations with Tribune over its Chapter 11 reorganisation plan, it wants to have permission before the 8 December deadline to file a lawsuit.

The court had given them a two year deadline to file a lawsuit when the company applied for bankruptcy in December 2008.

The creditors' group indicated that the defendants could include Zell, Tribune's board of directors and one of Tribune's financial advisers, Valuation Research Corp.