SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - NorthWestern Corporation has been authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to begin a resolicitation of certain creditor groups of the company's Second Amended and Restated Plan of Reorganization (Plan). In addition, the Court set Oct. 6, 2004, for the continuation of its confirmation hearing of its amended Plan.

NorthWestern filed with the Bankruptcy Court a Second Amended and Restated Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement reflecting a settlement agreement the company reached with Harbert Management Corp. and Wilmington Trust. Under the terms of the agreement, Harbert Management Corp. and other holders of NorthWestern's Trust Originated Preferred Securities, and other subordinated creditors who so choose, will be eligible to receive, pro rata, 8 percent of equity and warrants exercisable for an additional 13 percent of the common stock in the reorganized NorthWestern. Senior unsecured debtholders and general unsecured creditors of the company will receive approximately 92 percent of the reorganized NorthWestern's equity, based on the agreement.

The company said it would send resolicitation packages and ballots to Class 7 (Unsecured Note Claims), Class 8(a) (Unsecured Subordinated Note Claims represented by the TOPrS Notes), Class 8(b) (Unsecured Subordinated Note Claims represented by the QUIPS Notes), and Class 9 (General Unsecured Claims). Each holder of a voting claim is entitled to vote to accept or reject the company's amended Plan. Ballots have been mailed to eligible voters, and the completed ballots must be received by the tabulation agent on or before 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 29, 2004.

Publication date: 09/27/2004