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Colony Syndicate Closes LodgeNet Recapitalization; Names Nanula Chairman and Ribero CEO

Friday March 29th, 2013 - 9:17AM

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Colony Capital LLC has closed on LodgeNet Interactive Corporation’s recapitalization, leading a syndicate of investors in its acquisition of the company. In addition, Richard Nanula, Colony principal and chairman of Miramax, will serve as LodgeNet’s chairman. Michael Ribero will serve as president and CEO.
This investment is concurrent with LodgeNet’s approximately $70-million recapitalization and a new $358-million long-term credit facility. The investor group has been issued new common stock representing 100% ownership of LodgeNet. This completes the company’s emergence from Chapter 11.
Regarding the recent appointments, both Nanula and Ribero have a strong track record in the hospitality industry. Nanula has previously served as CFO of The Walt Disney Company and Amgen, and president/COO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Ribero previously served as chief marketing officer at Hilton and Eastern Airlines and held executive positions at other technology-based advertising and marketing firms. He is currently on the board of the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
“Mike’s substantial marketing experience in the hospitality industry and focus on execution speaks directly to the needs of our customers, and his leadership of media and technology companies will enable LodgeNet to capitalize on the many growth opportunities that lie ahead,” Nanula said in a statement. “We are confident that the combination of LodgeNet’s new management team, the company’s improved financial flexibility and the previously announced strategic partnership with DIRECTV will significantly benefit customers, partners, employees and all stakeholders in the months and years ahead.”
“We are refocusing LodgeNet to provide a new range of opportunities for our customers,” Ribero said in a statement. “LodgeNet is committed to partnering with the hotel and healthcare industries to deliver innovative, user-friendly, value-added media and entertainment solutions.” He continued, “Together with Colony, which brings financial and operational flexibility and the new strategic partnership with DIRECTV, we will offer our customers new entertainment and connectivity options, as well as equipment financing that provides a solid foundation for growth.”
Liner Grode Stein LLP, Sullivan & Cromwell and Guggenheim Securities LLC represented Colony in this transaction. Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp., FTI Consulting, Inc. and Moorgate Securities LLC served as financial advisors to LodgeNet; Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as restructuring legal counsel; and Leonard, Street and Deinard acted as corporate legal counsel to the company. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and CDG Group, LLC acted as advisors to the agent for the term lenders.