Made-for-TV-movie producer RHI Entertainment emerging from Chapter 11 proceedings

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Scratch the closing credits for one well-known television production company.

RHI Entertainment Inc. announced Tuesday that its pre-packaged reorganization plan -- which was designed to reduce the company’s debt by more than $400 million -- had won the approval of a bankruptcy judge in New York. RHI also said the company soon would be emerging from the Chapter 11 proceedings it initiated in December.

‘RHI is working with its key constituencies and exit lenders to complete the restructuring and
make the reorganization plan effective as quickly as possible,’ the company said in its statement.

The television movie company, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, entered Bankruptcy Court with more than $600 million in debt.


As part of its reorganization, RHI plans to emerge with a new capital structure that includes a debt reduction of approximately $298 million as well as lower interest costs and extended debt maturities. The plan also includes settlement agreements with ‘certain production partners and talent guilds,’ which eliminated or reduced payment terms associated with more than $100 million in obligations, the company said.

Remaining unsecured creditor claims would be paid in full, RHI said.

During the nearly four-month period the company was in Bankruptcy Court, it continued to operate and began production of three TV miniseries, “Neverland,” “Treasure Island” and “Blackout.” It also produced movies for the Syfy and Hallmark channels.

‘This is a great day for RHI Entertainment,” Chief Executive Robert Halmi Jr. said in the statement. “With the Bankruptcy Court’s approval, we are cleared to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strengthened balance sheet and the financial flexibility that will enable us to continue to deliver high quality, one-of-a-kind entertainment content. We believe ... we are well positioned for success in the years to come.’

-- Meg James

Photo from ‘Dinotopia,’ a 2002 TV miniseries produced by Hallmark Entertainment and Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. Credit: ABC / Hallmark Entertainment