AN AMI DELAY: In August, American Media Inc. unveiled a plan to potentially refinance its notes, since the company had $400 million worth of bonds that were set to mature May 1, and the clock was ticking on a decision. AMI came up with a plan for bondholders that included a combination of $250 million of senior notes due in 2013, $15.9 million of special senior subordinated discount notes due in 2013 and up to $340 million of mandatory, convertible senior subordinated discount notes, also set to mature in 2013. The publisher set a deadline of Sept. 25 for existing bondholders to accept the deal. But shortly after the plan was revealed, the financial markets melted down. AMI extended the deadline until Sept. 30, but that still wasn’t met, and it now has set another one: Oct. 28. The company also said it has started an ad hoc committee of bondholders regarding the possible amendment of the tender offers and consent solicitations. “This kind of thing happens a lot, especially in riskier situations,” said one analyst. “There must be some kind of stalemate going on.” Not to mention an arid credit market.
— Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the October 3, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GET OUT THE VOTE: There are few things one can imagine Mario Batali, Edie Falco, Debbie Harry, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Wes Craven, Al Sharpton and CNN talking head and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos all getting behind, but this weekend they’ll have both The New Yorker Festival and voter registration over which to bond. The star power is being corralled to register voters at festival headquarters at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Also pitching in are the magazine’s own staff writers, including Michael Specter and Ariel Levy, and, most likely, editor David Remnick. If only New York were a swing state.
— Irin Carmon
SETTING HER SITE: Sojin Lee, formerly head of retail and buying at Net-a-porter.com, has a new fashion Web site in the works, but she won’t be competing with her former employer. According to industry sources, the new site will feature videos and involve major fashion and luxury houses. It will be launched later this year in conjunction with Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment Ltd., the London-based media and branded entertainment firm that’s behind Victoria Beckham’s dVb brand and designer Roland Mouret’s RM label. Earlier this month, 19 Entertainment hired Susanne Tide-Frater, a former creative director of Harrods, as a development consultant who will work on the firm’s existing and future fashion projects. It’s unclear whether Tide-Frater will work on the site with Lee, who left Net-a-porter early last year.
— Samantha Conti