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Fredericksburg newspaper files for bankruptcy

The owner of Fredericksburg’s daily newspaper, The Free Lance-Star, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the paper reports.

The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. and a related company that owns property used by the paper filed petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond. The filing signals an end to 130 years of family ownership of the media company, the paper said.

The filing is not expected to have any immediate effect on the company’s employees, customers, advertisers or vendors, publisher Nick Cadwallender said.

The paper reports its new owner could be a New York City-based company that holds a $38 million loan on which the entire balance is due. The original $50.8 million loan in 2007 was used by the paper’s owner to build a modern printing plant.

The current loan holder told the publisher it wanted the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell substantially all of its assets to the loan holder as part of the bankruptcy process, the paper reported.

“With no better option available, and wanting the company to stay in business, the FLS agreed to do so,” the paper said.

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