Companies for sale

Companies for sale

GREAT COUNTRY BANK

Great Country Bank has indicated that it is cooperating with its financial adviser, First Albany Corp., “to explore various alternatives to recapitalize the bank” and is pursuing “the enhancement of shareholder value.” The bank revealed it has received “written proposals from several parties” and is in talks “with one of those parties.” Bank officials were reluctant, however, to be any more specific. For additional info contact: Michael Adanti, CEO, 211 Main Street, Ansonia, CT, 06401-1836. Tel: 203-734-2561.

HANOVER DIRECT INC.

Hanover Did Inc.’s upscale women’s fashion catalog, One 212, is up for sale. The publication is not profitable, according to Pamperin, Hanover’s former executive vice president, citing the fact that it is a start-up which in general requires about three years to begin making money. Average orders ranged from $160 to $220. According to One 212’s May 1995 data card, the catalog had 34,277 last-six-months buyers and 21,300 last-six-month requesters. Hanover has said it financed One 212’s operations through the upcoming fall mailing. Since January, Hanover which operates 18 catalogues, purchased the Leichtung Workshops, Improvements and Safety Zone catalogs; invested in software cataloger Tiger Direct; and is currently in the market for buyers for Leichtung Workshops and its Mature Wisdom catalog. For the first quarter of 1995, the company experienced a net loss of $4.9 million, compared with net income of $3.1 million in the same period in 1994. Revenues for the quarter also decreased to $176 million from $179 million in 1994. Also, the value of its stock in trading on the American Stock Exchange was at $2.95 per share, down substantially from its 52-week high of $6.62. Hanover may be interested in overseas investments soon, says David Leibowitz, a Hanover analyst for Burnham Securities in New York. For more info contact: Hanover Cos, Jack E. Rosenfeld, CEO, 1500 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken, NJ, 07087-6732; Tel: 201-863-7300.

FIBREBOARD CORP.

Fibreboard Corp. which is based in Walnut Creek, Ca. announced it may sell all or part of its wood-products group, which earned $12.7 million on sales of $180.3 million in 1994. That group owns 80,000 acres California timberland and manufactures lumber, plywood panels, molding and millwork. Fibreboard also has authorized the repurchase of as much as $20 million of its common stock, or about one million shares of the 85 million shares outstanding. For additional info contact: John D. Roach, CEO; 1000 Burnett Ave, Concord, Ca. 9520-2000. Tel: 510-686-0700.

UNITEL COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Unitel Communications Inc., Canada’s largest alternative long-distance company has retained J.P. Morgan & Co. in New York to attract investors and study restructuring options. This latest move by the troubled company to buy survival time is yet another strategy it has employed in the past eight months. Earlier it negotiated extensions to the bank loans and attracted cash infusions from two of its three shareholders. Rogers Communications Inc., which owns 29.5% of Unitel, announced it is a “potential purchaser of the Unitel business.” According to company sources, several Roger senior executives resigned positions at Unitel in order to avoid concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Unitel could conceivably be worth as much as C$1 billion, if the replacement cost of its network were counted, says analyst Eamon Hoey, with Hoey Associates Telecommunications Consulting Services Inc. AT&T Corp. which owns 22.5% of Unitel may also be seriously interested in increasing its stake.

MASCO CORP.

With a concern for the “long-term strategic interest of the company,” Masco Corp. is shedding its home-furnishings unit which includes such well-known brands as Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Robert Allen Fabrics. The group which generated $1.9 billion in sales in 1994, accounting for about 42% of annual sales, generated operating profit of just $80 million or 14% of the parent company’s total operating profit. The unit, with an estimated value of between $1 billion and $1 billion will be disposed of through a sale, a public offering, or a spin-off to Masco shareholders. Dean A. Gulis, director of research at Roney & Co. of Detroit, suggests that the most plausible scenario is that the buyer will be the group’s own management. Gulis has pointed out that Masco could conceivably sell the unit for $1 billion or more, according to projections of 1995 operating profit from $125 million and $150 million. For additional info contact: Alex Manoogian, CEO, 21001 Van Born Road, Taylor MI, 48180-1340. Tel: 313-274-7400.

GEODYNAMICS CORP.

Geodynamics Corp., a systems-engineering, integration and software-development company, announced it has retained the investment firm of A.G. Edwards Inc. to advise the board regarding “the possibility of a sale or merger of the company.” However, the company insists it is not in negotiations to be acquired. During April two directors were named to top positions at the Torrance-Ca.-based company. Thomas R. LaFehr was elected chairman and Bruce J. Gordon was elected president and chief executive officer. For additional info contact: Bruce J. Gordon, CEO, Suite 110, 21171 Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501-1704. Tel: 310-782-7277.

WHEREHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Wherehouse Entertainment Inc. may be on the precipice of seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to analysts. The Torrance, C-based company which sells music and videos plans to do a reorganization but company officials are not yet clear what form it will take, according to CEO Kathy Ford. One thing is clear, however, that the company may be nearing Chapter 11 since its latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states it may not be able to meet its debt obligations. In addition, Wherehouse’s lenders are demanding the company restructure its capital as a condition for the extension of payment deadlines. Wherehouse is currently mired in $207 million in debt. At present due to mounting intense competition, from diversified competitors, the video retailer which operates approximately 350 stores in 11 states (many in Southern California) is not generating sufficient cash flow to service its debt. The Wherehouse’s cash flow has been severely off key in recent months. The company lost $162.2 million during fiscal 1995 ending January 31, compared with a loss of $42 million a year earlier. Sales were $409.5 million vs. $380.2 million a year earlier. It also experienced an 8.9 percent decline in same-store sales during the fiscal first quarter ending April 30. The company’s most recent 10-K filing states that “recent developments….have led to uncertainties as to the company’s ability to continue operations as a going concern.” For additional info contact: Scott Young, CEO; 19701 Hamilton Avenue, Torrance, Ca., 90502-1334. Tel; 310-538-2314.

NATIONWISE AUTOMOTIVE

Nationwise Automotive, the country’s 11th-largest automotive parts retailer recently announced that it will close several unprofitable stores and try to sell the company. In 1994, the company had sales close to $200 million and was ranked as the 12th biggest private company in central Ohio according to an Arthur Andersen survey conducted recently. The decision was fueled by the need to revitalize and turn around an independent Nationwise. According to the terms of the plan crafted by turnaround specialist Gordian Group of New York, the profitable stores among the 200 in the chain will stay open. The restructuring plan has the support of Foothill Capital Corp. of California, the company’s investment banker. Although officials were reluctant to reveal which stores a to close, they said the reorganization would go into immediate effect. The most recent management team was appointed shortly after negotiations to sell the company to Hahn Automotive was stalled in the spring, due in large part to high debt. Industry experts surmise that Nationwise fell noticeably behind in the race for market dominance due to aggressive discounters such as Pep Boys and Auto Zone.

Copyright Quality Services Company Jun 19, 1995

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