Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt emerged from bankruptcy protection Friday, as a judge in New York approved a deal with the company’s creditors to eliminate $3.1 billion in debt.

Under the terms of the Chapter 11 restructuring, Houghton’s creditors have exchanged their debt holdings for ownership stakes in the company.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 21, with the support of more than 70 percent of its creditors, who agreed to exchange their debt for equity. At the time, the company said it expected that it would emerge from the process by the end of June.

The company was created by the combination of Harcourt Education and Houghton Mifflin, which several years ago were each bought separately by Barry O’Callaghan, a former Irish investment banker, for a total of $7.4 billion. O’Callaghan borrowed heavily to finance the purchases, which left the company with substantial debt.


O’Callaghan is no longer affiliated with the company.

D.C. Denison

D.C. Denison can be reached at denison@globe.com.