Bridge files for Chapter 11 protection

Bridge files for Chapter 11 protection

Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe has put together a last-minute debt restructuring deal for troubled financial information group Bridge after angry creditors last week served a winding-up order on the company.

The New York-based buy-out group is to pump a further $150 million into Bridge, giving it overall control of the ailing firm. In return, Bridge's creditors will see $340m of their debt converted into equity and a minority stake in the company.

The re-financing will be presented as part of a voluntary Chapter 11 filing under the US bankruptcy code, which will protect Bridge's assets while its debt is restructured.

The financial crisis at Bridge came to a head when venture capitalist Highland Capital Management served a bankruptcy petition on the struggling company in a St Louis court last week.

State Street Corporation, a minority stockholder in Bridge since 1996 with an investment carried at $49.5 million, says it is "closely monitoring" the situtation and may take a non-recurring charge against some or all of its stake in the company.

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