Adelphia Communications launched its effort to repair its shattered finances Wednesday, asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to hold creditors at bay but allow the company to hire lawyers and other advisers to sort through the fiscal mess.
Filings show the No. 6 cable operator owes about $9.8 billion to the top 50 unsecured creditors, most of them bondholders.
Several companies also are at risk of getting just a fraction of what Adelphia owes them. It owes $83.3 million to Scientific Atlanta and $49 million to Motorola both suppliers of set-top decoders.
And cable’s top programmers are waiting for payments. AOL Time Warner is due about $64 million, Viacom nearly $28 million and Disney about $18 million.
Still, Adelphia wants to maintain the cash-management system that commingles its funds with money from private entities controlled by the family of founder John Rigas. Those entities were at the heart of Adelphia’s present problems.
The intertwined operations are ”unable, at present, to manage and deploy their cash independently from one another,” CFO Christopher Dunstan said in an affidavit.
Still to come: a document detailing the $1.5 billion in loans secured from J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup to keep Adelphia running while it’s under court supervision.