Update: McClatchy treasurer Elaine Lintecum says the company reduced bond debt by over $100 million in the first half of 2009. (What she didn't say is whether that would be enough to keep the company afloat.)
Fitz and Jen report that newspaper analyst Mike Simonton isn't drawing an immediate conclusion about the low acceptance rate, but Simonton says the company is at risk of breaching bank covenants.
“It does, however, diminish the prospects for an out of court solution to McClatchy's debt problem,” he said Friday. “There's risk that the company could breach it's bank covenants in the second half of 2009 or early 2010. Although the company has received relief from the banks several times, it's uncertain how future negotiations will play out given their deteriorating operating performance and rapidly escalating leverage metrics.”
Update #2: Sacramento Bee article on the debt swap results here. (The comments are pretty funny.)