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Wisconsin Law Journal owner emerges from bankruptcy

The Dolan Co., which owns the Wisconsin Law Journal, emerged from bankruptcy Thursday.

The Minneapolis-based Dolan Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 20, entering into a “pre-packaged” plan meant to reduce the company’s secured debt from about $170 million to $50 million. The reorganization plan converted former secured lenders into the new owners of the company.

Dolan is no longer a public company and is now mostly owned by Bayside Capital Inc., an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital and a private-investment firm with more than $15 billion of equity capital under its management.

Dolan’s originally bankruptcy plan would not have provided compensation to shareholders. But on Monday, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved a settlement that would transfer about $3.2 million in cash and a note receivable to a specially established trust.

About 20 percent of the proceeds from the trust will be distributed to holders of preferred shares and the rest will go to holders of common shares. The company’s stock had been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in the months leading up to the bankruptcy. The stock now will be cancelled.

The restructuring also established DiscoverReady, a provider of electronic legal services, as a separate business that is mostly owned by Bayside Capital. As a part of the bankruptcy, James Dolan, former chief executive officer, and Scott Pollei, former chief operating officer, agreed to leave the company.

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