Supplement | HBS Case Collection | February 2011

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (CW)

by Stuart C. Gilson and Sarah Abbott


One of the leading publishers of textbooks and other educational materials for the U.S. K-12 educational instruction market has suffered a dramatic decline in sales and profits in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial market crisis and economic recession, and it now overburdened with debt. To regain its competitiveness, the company has to significantly reduce its debt, by billions of dollars. Company management is trying to decide which of several options is best for achieving this goal, including filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, restructuring its debt out-of-court, or filing a "pre-packaged" Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Keywords: Restructuring; Decisions; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Borrowing and Debt; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Profit; Crisis Management; Goals and Objectives; Sales; Competition; Publishing Industry; United States;


Gilson, Stuart C., and Sarah Abbott. "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 211-708, February 2011.