“We also thank our sponsor Ripplewood Holdings, who has provided inspired vision and stewardship over the last two and a half years, including during this process.”
– Mary Berner, CEO of The Reader’s Digest Association.
This was part of today’s announcement that Reader’s Digest will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to facilitate a debt restructuring that would wipe out Ripplewood’s equity stake. Remember, it was just over two years ago that Ripplewood bought Reader’s Digest just two years ago for $2.4 billion, and it originally wanted to pay about $150 million more (which likely would have resulted in even more debt).
So I’m not sure if Berner was being ironic or was just the victim of some well-meaning — but poor-thinking — PR flack. Maybe she was just saying “Thanks for the paycheck,” since Ripplewood installed her as CEO in the first place…