ANC Financing Deals Draw Court Approval

WILMINGTON, Del. -- A U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week gave ANC Rental Corp. authority to move forward on a number of crucial financing deals, including a plan that provides the company $126 million in surety bonds from Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. Also receiving the court's preliminary OK was a deal in which DaimlerChrysler will give ANC a $62.5 million advance in exchange for a commitment to buy 60,000 vehicles.

Judge Mary F. Walrath agreed to approve the financing agreements after ANC made a number of concessions to appease creditors that had opposed the deals. Judge Walrath is also expected to sign orders that will permit ANC to continue funding rental operations through mid-July using cash collateral from secured lenders.

In other news, Dow Jones reported last week that ANC has asked the court to extend its sole right to file a reorganization plan and drum up creditor support. The company is reportedly asking for a May 7 deadline to file a plan and a Sept. 4 deadline to win creditor approval. This motion represents ANC's fourth request to extend its exclusivity.

In an interview with ANC CEO William Plamondon published earlier this month, the South Forida Sun-Sentinel reported that 11 parties had recently expressed interest in investing or purchasing the company. Plamondon declined to identify the parties, but told the newspaper most are well known private investment firms. Of the 11 parties, three are strategic buyers with car rental experience, he said. The board of directors plans to narrow the field to three potential buyers or investors by the end of this month.

ANC has also hired Jay Alix and Associates and Lazard Freres & Co. to help with the restructuring project.

ANC Rental Corp., which owns National and Alamo, filed for bankruptcy protection in November of 2001.

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