TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 23, 1996 - Walter
today announced that Kenneth E. Hyatt, currently president and chief
operating officer, will succeed G. Robert Durham as chairman and
chief executive officer upon Mr. Durham's retirement at the end of
the company's current fiscal year, on May 31,1996.
Mr. Hyatt, 55, who is also a director, joined Walter Industries
as president and chief operating officer in September 1995 following
his tenure as president and chief executive officer of The Celotex
Corporation, a major building materials manufacturer and former
Walter Industries subsidiary. Mr. Hyatt had served in various
executive and management positions with Walter Industries'
predecessor company, Jim Walter Corporation, prior to the company's
1988 leveraged buyout.
He joined The Georgia Marble Company, a former Jim Walter
subsidiary, in 1966, and rose through its ranks to become president
in 1976. In 1984 he was named a vice president and group executive
of Jim Walter Corporation and for the ensuing four years had
corporate responsibility for several companies that remain part of
Walter Industries today, including the company's coal mining and
methane gas, coke and chemicals, and aluminum operations.
He was elected executive vice president and chief operating
officer of Jim Walter Corporation in 1986; but following the
company's leveraged buyout by the New York investment firm of
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., he joined a group of former Jim
Walter executives who participated with an Alabama-based investor
group in the acquisition of Celotex and certain related businesses.
Celotex achieved record profitability during Mr. Hyatt's tenure as
its president and chief executive officer.
"Given Ken Hyatt's depth of background with the company as well
as his broad manufacturing and executive experience, I'm confident
that Walter Industries will prosper under his leadership," Mr.
Durham said in announcing the changes. An executive search firm has
been engaged to identify internal and external candidates to succeed
Mr. Hyatt as president and chief operating officer.
Mr. Hyatt is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology
where he earned a bachelor degree in civil engineering in 1962 and a
master of science degree in industrial management in 1966. He
served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1962 to 1965. He is a
director of Barnett Bank of Tampa and the United Way of Hillsborough
County, a member of The Florida Council of 100, and a trustee of the
University of Tampa, also serving as chairman of the Business
Advisory Council for the University's School of Business. An Eagle
Scout, he is a director and immediate past president of the Gulf
Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
"Our challenge is to create opportunities for earnings
consistency and enhanced shareholder value that can be sustained
over the long term," Mr. Hyatt said. "Thanks to the efforts of Bull
Durham and a strong management team, Walter Industries is in the
best position in many years to build upon the intrinsic strengths of
our unique mix of businesses."
Mr. Durham, 67, joined Walter Industries in June 1991 as
president and chief executive officer and became only the second
chairman of the board in the company's 50 year history following the
retirement of company founder and chairman James W. Walter last
October. Prior to joining Walter Industries, Mr. Durham had served
as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Phelps Dodge
Corporation, from which he had retired - for a second time - in 1989
at age 60.
"I am very pleased to announce this important step in the
ongoing transition of senior management at the company," Mr. Durham
said. "When I emerged from early retirement in 1991 to assume the
CEO role here, I did so with the understanding of the company's
board of directors that my tenure would be determined by the earlier
reaching of our successful emergence and transition from Chapter 11
reorganization or my fifth anniversary with the comp any. The
former goal has been accomplished and Walter Industries is now
poised for a very positive future. So, this is both a timely and
personally gratifying decision for me."
Note: Walter Industries, based in Tampa, Florida, is a
diversified, multi-subsidiary corporation with major interests in
two business areas: homebuilding and financing and industrial
operations. Walter Industries and its subsidiaries employ more than
7,800 at manufacturing facilities and sales offices throughout the
United States, generating sales and revenues in excess of $1.4
CONTACT: David L. Townsend of Walter Industries, Inc.,
813-871-4448; or Brian Maddox or Erika Brown of Morgen-Walke,
Associates, Inc., 212-850-5600
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Feb. 23, 1996 -- href="chap11.radiant.html">Radiant
Technology Corp. (RTNC) received the final decree releasing it
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Feb. 21, 1996.
The company sought protection of the Bankruptcy Court on Nov.
12, 1993 as the result of an avaricious lawsuit over perceived prior
The company produces precision temperature controlled belt
furnaces that are primarily used by the electronics and
semiconductor manufacturing industries.
Throughout the reorganization procedure the company was
supported by its loyal customers, suppliers and shareholders. It
emerges from its voluntary confines profitable, with a strong
backlog and a confident management team.
CONTACT: Radiant Technology Corp.,
Merci Gingrich, 714/961-0200
TROY, Mich., Feb. 23, 1996 - Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM)
today announced it will close 15 of its discount stores in eight
states on or about May 26, 1996, which do not meet the company's
sales, profit and return on investment requirements. The closings
are consistent with the company's ongoing efforts to improve the
profitability of its core discount business. Kmart previously
announced it expects to close up to 60 stores in 1996 and open 30
traditional discount stores.
The closing stores include the following:
Calexico, 2340 Imperial Ave. East
Mission Viejo, 28601 Los Alisos
Perris, 681 E. San Jacinto
Rialto, 850 E. Foothill Blvd.
Vista, 650 Sycamore Ave.
Skowhegan, RR .5
Mt. Clemens, 50 N. Groesbeck Hwy.
Wyoming, 155 28th St., SW
Pennsville, 247 N. Broadway
Oxford, Toll Gate Mall, S. Locust St.
Medford, 251 Barnett Rd.
Coventry, 1141 Tiogue Ave.
Austin, 4001 S. Lama Blvd.
Garland, 1406 Walnut
Houston, 11037 E. Freeway
As a result of these store closings, approximately 1,300 jobs
will be eliminated. Affected associates will receive any eligible
benefits due at the time of actual termination.
Kmart Corporation serves America with 2,163 Kmart and 167
Builders Square retail outlets. In addition to serving all 50
states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, Kmart
operations extend to Canada, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and,
through joint ventures, to Mexico and Singapore.
CONTACT: Mary Lorencz, Corporate Affairs of Kmart, 810-643-1021
CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 1996 - Retailers looking for a light at
the end of the tunnel probably won't find it in 1996, according to
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) analysts.
"From a business perspective, the retail industry is weaker than
usual, and it will probably remain so over another cycle. We're
looking for the environment to stay the same or get even worse,"
said Thomas Razukas, a DCR group vice president in charge of retail
This is bad news for retailers that have deep-seated, systemic
problems in operations, merchandise execution or marketing. Such
weaknesses might be easier to hide in an up-cycle, but given that
today's conditions bear witness to low consumer demand and a
saturated marketplace, companies saddled with any combination of the
above shortfalls are hard-pressed to mask them.
"Regardless of where they are in the business cycle, companies
with these problems will underperform. But today's conditions
exacerbate the situation because they're not allowed the time to
turn things around," said Doris Nakamura, a DCR retail analyst.
DCR has taken several rating actions in recent weeks on large
retailers. Four of the actions were downgrades, which at first
glance appears in keeping with the onslaught of gloomy headlines
that have prevailed recently regarding this industry, and one was an
However, while the rating actions are coincident with all the
news stories about the sluggish retail environment, including poor
holiday sales and disappointing yearend results, DCR analysts
confirm that more contributes to a rating action than what is in
"From a credit perspective, the retail environment being soft
does not, on its own, necessarily warrant rating action," said
Nakamura. "We're looking at the entire business cycle. Given that
longer-term outlook, we look at each company, case by case, and try
to determine where the credits fall."
DCR's recent downgrades of the debt ratings of Woolworth Corp.
(BBB-) and Kmart Corp. (BB) reflect companywide operational
difficulties that have been aggravated by the current industry
conditions. The common denominator of the downgrades is the absence
of a clearly defined, workable turnaround strategy to combat
weaknesses that today's environment has brought to the surface.
Dayton Hudson Corp. (A-), on the other hand, owes its recent
downgrade to the poor performance of one division. The firm's
apparel- dependent Mervyn's department store chain has tried many
unsuccessful strategies to win over consumers. The company's other
divisions, however, including Target, Marshall Fields and Dayton's,
remain solid performers in their respective formats and have strong
And Toys "R" Us Inc. (AA) is finding that, despite its excellent
financial position, discounters are changing the competitive
landscape of toy retailing and increasing the level of business
risk. Although traditional statistics that serve as benchmarks for
the economy's health have been strong for more than five years,
including low unemployment and low inflation, not all indicators
bode well for retailers.
For example, while it's good news for the overall economy that
inflation has been virtually flat for several years, retailers have
been unable to pass their rising cost of goods sold and operating
expenses onto consumers.
Additionally, headline-making layoffs and two partial government
shutdowns have sent job security shockwaves through the American
workforce, causing consumers to become more cautious with their
wallets. Add to this, rising installment debt levels and a shift in
the spending priorities of the baby boomer generation - the age
group with the most disposable income - and the result is an all-out
pressure situation for retailers.
The primary problem plaguing retailers today is that the growth
in the number of competitors - more specifically, growth in actual
square footage of retailing space - has far exceeded consumer demand
in recent years, said Marvin Behm, a DCR retail analyst. "Right now,
it's a huge marketshare game. The demand isn't growing, but the
individual size and the number of players is," he said.
Companies that have been able to increase marketshare have done
so by taking marketshare from weaker peers, he added.
Despite the formidable retail conditions, there remain strong
players. Companies with high financial flexibility and strong
merchandising execution strategies are the ones most likely to make
it through the current retail downturn.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. (A) has consistently demonstrated
resilience in the face of the challenging retail climate. The firm
has made good progress in correcting systemic problems such as
bloated overhead, poor productivity and declining customer
perceptions. Its solid sales growth, particularly in apparel, and
control of expenses contributed to the recent upgrade in Sears'
"Looking five or 10 years down the road, we believe Sears is
still going to have a strong retail presence, no matter where we are
in the business cycle," Behm said.
Behm also pointed to Wal-Mart as a retailer "most likely to
succeed." The discounter has consistently reinvested the success of
its core business back into its core business to keep its operating
performance sharp. On the other hand, Woolworth and Kmart invested
the cash generated by their core businesses into riskier, unproven
concepts, losing marketshare in their core operations along the way,
And for weaker entities, the competitive landscape keeps getting
rockier. "We expect more consolidation at all levels," said Razukas,
adding that company-specific weaknesses will lead to the collapse of
weak discounters, department stores and specialty concepts into
their stronger competitors.
Especially in sectors that remain heavily fragmented, such as
furniture and auto parts, consolidation is a likely trend for the
future, Razukas predicted. But even in sectors that are already
tremendously consolidated, more consolidation is not out of the
Best Buy (BBB-) and Circuit City, for example, took early
advantage of the heavily fragmented electronics industry and
expanded rapidly to most regions of the country. Today, the two
compete for the same customer base to increase their marketshare,
simultaneously struggling to fend off superstores and department
stores that have stepped up their electronics offerings, such as
Sears and Montgomery Ward.
More than anything, today's conditions demand that retailers
retain their strength in the formats in which they compete and
carefully consider at would distract management or dollars from core
operations, DCR analysts agree.
DCR's current outlook on the retail industry is conservative.
Because the industry has become increasingly volatile and much more
cyclical in recent years, conditions that exacerbate the industry's
position in the business cycle make it difficult to predict the
sustainability of credit strength.
Still, although DCR closely monitors industry trends, it is
company- specific strength - and how that strength is impacted by
industry trends - that DCR considers primary when assigning or
adjusting credit ratings.
CONTACT: Doris Nakamura, 312-368-3130, or Marvin Behm,
312-368-3209, both of Duff & Phelps, for information on the retail
New Dimensions in Medicine Inc. completes sale of assets to CONMED
Corporation and Paul Hartmann AG and stockholders approve plan of liquidation
DAYTON, Ohio -- Feb. 23, 1996 -- New Dimensions In
Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ/OTC: NDIM) announced that at the special
meeting of stockholders held earlier today, NDM's stockholders
approved the sale of substantially all of NDM's business and assets
to CONMED Corporation (NASDAQ: CNMD) and NDM's Plan of Complete
Liquidation and Dissolution by the affirmative vote of a majority of
the shares outstanding. Immediately following the stockholders'
meeting, NDM consummated the sale of assets to CONMED for
approximately $32,000,000 in cash, and NDM also completed the
previously announced sale of its international wound care business
to Paul Hartmann AG, a company organized under the laws of the
Federal Republic of Germany, for $5,000,000 in cash, of which
$600,000 will be held in escrow for up to two years to secure
certain obligations and potential claims relating to the
international wound care business.
Pursuant to NDM's Plan of Liquidation, NDM will transfer all of
its assets remaining after the CONMED and Hartmann transactions to a
newly-formed liquidating trust by March 1, 1996, or shortly
thereafter, for distribution to stockholders after satisfaction of
NDM's outstanding liabilities. NDM's Board of Directors has
appointed James A. Potter as the liquidating trustee of NDM. Mr.
Potter is the administrator of the MEI Diversified Liquidating
Trust, which was established in connection with the bankruptcy
proceedings of MEI Diversified Inc., the former parent of NDM.
NDM anticipates that the initial liquidation distribution to its
stockholders pursuant to the Plan of Liquidation will be made to
stockholders of record as of the close of business today in an
amount approximately $4.32 per share of common stock. Such
distribution is expected to be made to stockholders during the week
of February 26, 1996. NDM anticipates filing a Certificate of
Dissolution with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware
immediately following the initial liquidation distribution to NDM's
stockholders and the transfer of NDM's remaining assets to the
It is expected that the final record date for the determination
of stockholders entitled to any further distributions from the
liquidating trust will be set as of the close of business on March
1, 1996, or such later date on which NDM's assets are transferred to
the liquidating trust. Subsequent distributions, if any, will be
made by the liquidating trust, at such time as the liquidating
trustee determines, after payment or discharge of NDM's remaining
liabilities and obligations to the stockholders of record as of such
final record date. Shares of common stock of NDM will cease to be
transferable after such final record date and thereafter will
represent solely the right to receive a pro rata beneficial interest
in the liquidating trust. It is possible that any final liquidation
distribution from the liquidating trust may not be made for
approximately three years or a longer period of time if the
liquidating trustee determines that additional time is reasonably
necessary to pay or make provision for NDM's liabilities.
NDM is a developer and manufacturer of electrocardiograph (ECG)
monitoring electrodes, electrosurgical products and hydrogel wound
CONMED is a manufacturer and worldwide distributor of
electrosurgery, heart monitoring and other medical products used
primarily in hospital operating rooms and other critical areas.
Hartman has been NDM's distributor of wound care products in Germany
and Austria for a number of years.
CONTACT: Philip J. Oliver,
New Dimensions in Medicine, Inc.,
(513) 294-1767, ext. 288
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 23, 1996 - Applied Digital Access, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ADAX) has announced that it was the successful bidder for
certain assets of Applied Computing
Devices, a company that develops
and markets operations support software used primarily by
independent telephone companies to manage certain functions in their
networks. The current customer set and products of Applied
Computing Devices complement those of ADA. ADA bid $1.7 million in
cash for the assets of Applied Computing Devices at an auction held
in Federal Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terra
Haute, Indiana. Terms of the bid require the transaction to close
on Thursday, February 29, 1996.
While Applied Computing Devices has generated significant
revenue in the past, it has been in bankruptcy since September, 1995
and has not generated significant revenue in recent months. At this
time it is not possible to determine what the effect of the purchase
of the assets of Applied Computing Device may be on either ADA's
1996 revenue or its earnings. As ADA invests in product
development, marketing, and sales support for the acquired products,
expenses could have a negative effect on future operating results.
ADA is a leading provider of test and performance monitoring
systems that enable telephone companies to manage their high-
bandwidth networks from centralized locations. ADA's products are
designed to allow rapid restoral of service and reduce costs by
remotely detecting and isolating problems in telephone networks.
The Company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
CONTACT: Pete Savage, or Rich Carter, both of Applied Digital
Access, 619-623-2200; Rolf Rudestam of The Rudestam Group,
BRUNSWICK, Ga., Feb. 23, 1996 - A Savannah Federal
Bankruptcy court today ordered the government to immediately resume
Medicare reimbursement payments to First
American Health Care.
Following the announcement, the company said that employees will be
receiving paychecks as of Monday, Feb. 26, 1996.
"This move by the court signals a new beginning for First
American Health Care," said interim CEO Frank Chamberlain, after
learning of the court order this afternoon.
The company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
earlier this week after the Health Care Financing Administration
(HCFA) cut off reimbursement payments on February 12. Chamberlain
said the company has already embarked on a series of moves designed
to reassure HCFA, its employees and its patients that it will
continue to provide first quality care throughout the 23 states that
"Our first objective was to demonstrate that we are solvent and
taking care of every patient and employee," Chamberlain said. "We
are most pleased with the quick decision by the court because it
provides us with the opportunity to move quickly and positively
toward our new goals."
Chamberlain and Charles L. Cansler, interim CFO, were appointed
to fill posts vacated by First American owners Jack and Margie
Mills, who withdrew from corporate management Monday. Chamberlain
and Cansler are partners in an Atlanta firm specializing in
corporate transition and have extensive experience in helping
companies during critical turnaround periods.
First American Health Care is the nation's largest privately
held home health care provider and employees 16,000 people in over
450 locations in 23 states. The company provides home health care
services to more than 32,000 elderly patients.
CONTACT: Jeff Stives, First American Health Care, 912-264-1940