"The company filed the petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond together with William Douglas Properties LLC, a related entity that owns a portion of the land upon which the FLS operates parts of its business," the company reported in its newspaper, The Free Lance-Star.
“'The filing isn’t expected to have any immediate effect on the company’s employees, customers, advertisers or vendors," FLS Publisher Nick Cadwallender said in the newspaper.
New York City-based Sandton Capital Partners or an affiliate is named in the article as a potential new owner for FLS. It is reported Sandton holds the loan originally obtained to build Print Innovators, a printing plant on Belman Road in Fredericksburg. FLS officials had hoped the plant would attract additional commercial jobs.
"The company took many steps to try to restructure the business to become compliant with the loan covenants," FLS reported. "That included reducing the number of full- and part-time employees from about 454 in 2007 to 303 at the end of 2013."
Employee benefits and hours have also been cut.
“'As you can imagine, this has been a difficult decision for the Rowe family to make, but we believe this is in the best interest of everyone involved,' Cadwallender told FLS employees during a company-wide meeting Thursday morning," the paper reported.
In addition to The Free Lance-Star, the company's assets include Fredericksburg.com, Freelancestar.com, WFLS, WYSK, WWUZ and WNTX. It also owns real estate and other digital operations, the newspaper said.Follow Fredericksburg Patch for the latest news and events.
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