As first reported on LMW's Web site last week,J.P. Morgan is providing the debt financing to back the recapitalization of Freedom Communications, enabling some family shareholders to stay in the business and for others to cash out. A source said the total transaction could be worth as much as $1.5 billion to $2 billion. Blackstone Communication Partners, a fund of The Blackstone Group, and Providence Equity Partners, will invest equity in the company, but spokespeople for both private equity firms declined to comment on how much equity would be provided and how much debt financing J.P. Morgan would provide. A J.P. Morgan spokesman did not return calls.
One source described the decision process on the recapitalization as "World War IV," while a statement from Freedom states, "The goal from the beginning has always been fairness to everyone's objectives--no simple task in a multi-generational family not shy to express its views!"