TCR_Public/960925.MBX




InterNet Bankruptcy Library - News for September 25, 1996






Bankruptcy News For September 25, 1996



  1. PacifiCorp Supports Big Rivers Bankruptcy Filing

  2. Big Rivers Files for Bankruptcy Protection as Way to Implement Partnership With PacifiCorp

  3. Braun's Fashions Corporation Reports Improved Second Quarter Operating Results




PacifiCorp Supports Big Rivers Bankruptcy Filing


PORTLAND, Ore., Sept.25, 1996 - PacifiCorp (NYSE: PPW) said today that the bankruptcy filing by Big  
Rivers Electric Corporation
of Henderson, Ky., should smooth the way for implementing the partnership  
between the two utilities.


"We view the filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections as a positive step because it addresses some of the  
contingencies standing in the way of moving forward with the omnibus agreement we signed last month," said  
Don Furman, president of PacifiCorp Power Marketing, Inc., a non-regulated subsidiary of PacifiCorp, based  
in Portland.


PacifiCorp and Big Rivers are working toward a long-term agreement under which PacifiCorp would pay Big  
Rivers $30.1 million per year to lease and operate Big River's power plants over the next 25 years, providing  
power to Big Rivers for its four distribution cooperative members while PacifiCorp sells the excess capacity  
of the plants.


"This step will help ensure that Big Rivers and PacifiCorp complete this important transaction in a timely  
fashion so we can forge ahead in a partnership that will help western Kentucky continue to grow," Furman  
said.


Furman said PacifiCorp was particularly pleased that Big Rivers and the two largest users of Big Rivers  
power, the NSA and Alcan aluminum smelters in western Kentucky, had reached an understanding to support  
the partnership being developed by PacifiCorp and Big Rivers.


Furman said the bankruptcy filing would not affect the interim marketing agreement under which PacifiCorp  
and Big Rivers are jointly marketing excess capacity of Big Rivers' power plants. The joint marketing started  
April 1. PacifiCorp also will continue its economic development activities in western Kentucky, under another  
interim agreement reached earlier this year.


"These interim agreements already have yielded significant economic benefits for both PacifiCorp and Big  
Rivers," Furman said.


SOURCE PacifiCorp /CONTACT: Media, Dave Kvamme, 503-464-6272, or investors, Scott Hibbs,  
503-731-2123, both of PacifiCorp/




Big Rivers Files for Bankruptcy Protection as Way to Implement Partnership With PacifiCorp


LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 25, 1996 - With its two largest electricity users and primary creditor in its corner,  
Big Rivers Electric Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, saying the move represents  
the best way to make its partnership with PacifiCorp (NYSE: PPW) a reality.


Under Chapter 11, Big Rivers is automatically authorized to operate in the ordinary course of business. Big  
Rivers has filed motions asking for immediate approval of certain aspects of its operations to ensure  
day-to-day operations continue as usual. The motions are standard in Chapter 11 proceedings.


"Bankruptcy is a necessary tool to solidify the partnership between Big Rivers and PacifiCorp - a partnership  
that clearly benefits our customers, our employees and the economy of western Kentucky," said Al Robison,  
Big Rivers' acting general manager.


"We have known for some time that bankruptcy might have to be used as a tool to help implement a lasting  
resolution to the company's challenges. Today, we are at the point where it is necessary to use that tool."


Robison added that the support for the partnership from the utility's largest users - NSA and Alcan - and the  
Rural Utilities Service further strengthens Big Rivers' case for reorganization through the bankruptcy process.


The fact that our largest users and primary creditor are joined with us in supporting this partnership clearly  
bolsters our plan of reorganization," Robison said. "We also hope it will help this process proceed more  
quickly so that we can move forward in formulating a plan and in obtaining regulatory approvals."


Big Rivers filed the bankruptcy petition today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The case is assigned to the court's  
Owensboro Division.


"We are confident that when the potential of our partnership with PacifiCorp is fully understood, Big Rivers  
will be able to move ahead with PacifiCorp in the business of making electricity and powering western  
Kentucky," said Sandra Wood, president of Big Rivers' board of directors. "We plan to move aggressively in  
bankruptcy court to make this happen."


PacifiCorp Power Marketing President, Don Furman said his company also sees bankruptcy as a tool to help  
facility the partnership.


"This step will help ensure that Big Rivers and PacifiCorp complete this important transaction so we can forge  
ahead in a partnership that will help western Kentucky continue to grow," he said.


Robison said that during the bankruptcy process, Big Rivers will keep the Public Service Commission  
informed of the company's progress. At the appropriate time during the reorganization process, Big Rivers will  
seek approval from the commission of the rates contemplated by the PacifiCorp transaction.


The petition was accompanied by an agreed order, pending court approval, which states that Big Rivers and  
its primary creditor, the Rural Utilities Service, have worked out a pact to allow the utility to continue using  
income for normal business operations.


"We don't see this filing in any way affecting the way we do business each day because we have outlined a  
resolution that makes the most sense for our company and its customers," Robison said. "Bankruptcy is a tool  
to implement the PacifiCorp partnership through a plan of reorganization. With a financially strong partner, I  
have every confidence that our partnership with PacifiCorp will stand the scrutiny of the court and other  
constituencies that may have questions.


In August, Big Rivers and PacifiCorp Holdings, Inc., a non- regulated subsidiary of PacifiCorp, signed an  
omnibus agreement. The two companies are working toward a long-term agreement in which a PacifiCorp  
Holdings' subsidiary would pay Big Rivers $30.1 million per year to lease and operate the utility's power  
plants for 25 years. Big Rivers will continue to own the power plants while providing transmission and other  
services to its four distribution cooperatives.


The arrangement requires approvals from Kentucky and federal regulators as well as the boards of Big Rivers,  
the distribution cooperatives and PacifiCorp.


Big Rivers serves 91,000 customers through its four distribution cooperatives, Henderson Union Electric  
Cooperative, Green River Electric Corporation, Jackson Purchase Electric Cooperative Corporation and  
Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation.


PacifiCorp has 1.8 million retail electric customers in seven western states and Australia. The company  
conducts wholesale transactions with 65 utilities in 11 western states.


SOURCE PacifiCorp -0- 09/25/96 /CONTACT: Susan Sauls of Big River Electric Corp., 502-827-2561/




Braun's Fashions Corporation Reports Improved Second Quarter Operating Results


MINNEAPOLIS, MN Sept. 25, 1995 - Braun's Fashions Corporation (Nasdaq-NNM: BFCI) today announced  
results for the second quarter ended August 31, 1996. Sales totaled $22,777,000, up 6% from $21,506,000 for  
the same period last year (increase due primarily to liquidation sales in 46 closing stores). Same store sales in  
the 172 continuing stores (excluding stores being closed as part of the Company's Chapter 11 reorganization)  
increased 2%. The net loss for the second quarter (excluding reorganization expenses and adjusted to reflect  
the appropriate tax rate) was $781,000 or $.21 per share compared to a net loss of $1,416,000 or $.37 per  
share last year, a $.16 per share operating improvement. The total net loss for the quarter (including  
reorganization expenses) was $9,537,000 or $2.51 per share.


Net sales for the six months ended August 31, 1996 were $44,281,000, an increase of 2% over the same  
period last year. Same store sales in the 172 continuing stores (excluding stores being closed as part of the  
Company's Chapter 11 reorganization) increased 1%. The net loss for the first six months (excluding  
reorganization expenses and adjusted to reflect the appropriate tax rate) was $1,014,000 or $.27 per share,  
compared to a net loss for the same period last year of $2,075,000 or $.55 per share, a $.28 per share increase  
from operations. The total net loss for the six months ended August 31, 1996 (including reorganization  
expenses) was $9,755,000 or $2.57 per share.


The Company recorded reorganization expenses totaling $9,070,000 as a result of its July 2, 1996 Chapter 11  
filing. These costs relate primarily to lease rejection claims and losses due to the closing of 46 unprofitable  
stores, extra-ordinary markdowns to bring merchandise inventories to the levels needed to support fewer  
stores, professional fees and the write-off of deferred financing costs. Management expects that additional  
reorganization expenses of $1 to $2 million will be incurred in the third quarter.


Sales and gross margins in the 172 continuing stores were significantly improved in the second quarter  
reflecting the Company's emphasis on the more profitable categories of its merchandise mix and an increased  
concentration on direct import merchandise. Early third quarter results have continued this same trend.  
Nicholas H. Cook, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, "Closing our unprofitable stores has enabled  
us to focus our attention on a healthy core group and, as a result, we expect these stores to be more competitive  
in the challenging women's apparel marketplace."


The Company's Chapter 11 action is proceeding satisfactorily. The Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure  
Statement that was filed on July 18, 1996 was amended on August 27. A confirmation hearing to approve the  
Amended Plan of Reorganization has been tentatively scheduled for October 25, 1996. Mr. Cook commented,  
"We are pleased with the timely progress of our Chapter 11 reorganization and anticipate that we will emerge  
from bankruptcy in the very near future."


Braun's Fashions Corporation is based in Minneapolis, Minn., and is a specialty retailer of women's fashions.  
Braun's currently has 172 continuing stores in 20 states, primarily in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.



                                   Financial Highlights
                     (Dollars In thousands, except per share amounts)
                                       (Unaudited)
         
                                                    Three Months Ended
                                           August 31, 1996    August 26, 1995
        Net sales                                $22,777           $21,506
        Net income (loss)                        $(9,537)(1)       $(1,416)
        Net income (loss) per common share (2)    $(2.51)           $(0.37)
        Net income (loss) per common share
         excluding  reorganization expenses     $(0.21)          $(0.37)
         
                                                    Three Months Ended
                                             August 31,  %of   August 26,  %of
                                                1996    Sales    1995     Sales
        Net sales                              $22,777   100.0  $21,506   100.0
        Cost of sales                           17,291    75.9   16,411    76.3
        Gross profit                             5,486    24.1    5,095    23.7
        Selling, general and administrative      5,857    25.7    6,043    28.1
        Depreciation and amortization              666     2.9      789     3.7
        Operating income (loss)                 (1,037)   (4.5)  (1,737)   (8.1)
        Interest, net                              147     0.7      344     1.6
        Loss before reorganization expenses
         and income taxes                       (1,184)   (5.2)  (2,081)   (9.7)
        Reorganization expenses                9,070    39.8       --      --
        Income tax provision (benefit)            (717)   (3.1)    (665)   (3.1)
        Net income (loss)                      $(9,537)  (41.9) $(1,416)   (6.6)
        Net income (loss) per common share (2)   (2.51)     --   $(0.37)     --
        Net income (loss) per common share
         excluding reorganization expenses    $(0.21)     --   $(0.37)
         
        (1)    Includes $9,070,000 of reorganization expenses as a result of the
        Company's July 2, 1996 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing.
         
        (2)    Based on the weighted average number of outstanding shares of
        common stock and common stock equivalents of 3,793,312 for the period
            ended August 31, 1996 and 3,791,272 for the period ended August
        26, 1995.
         
                                   Financial Highlights
                     (Dollars In thousands, except per share amounts)
         
                                                    Six Months Ended
                                            August 31, 1996    August 26, 1995
        Net sales                               $44,281           $44,473
        Net income (loss)                       $(9,755)(1)       $(2,075)
        Net income (loss) per common share (2)   $(2.57)           $(0.55)
        Net income (loss) per common share
         excluding reorganization expenses     $(0.27)          $(0.55)
         
                                                    Six Months Ended
                                             August 31,  %of   August 26,  %of
                                                1996    Sales    1995    Sales
         
        Net sales                               $44,281   100.0  $43,473   100.0
        Cost of sales                            32,089    72.5   32,278    74.2
        Gross profit                             12,192    27.5   11,195    25.8
        Selling, general and administrative      11,793    26.6   12,109    27.9
        Depreciation and amortization             1,429     3.2    1,575     3.6
            Operating income (loss)                  (1,030)   (2.3)
        (2,489)   (5.7)
         
        Interest, net                               506     1.1      654     1.5
        Loss before reorganization expenses
             and income taxes                        (1,536)   (3.4)
        (3,143)   (7.2)
         
        Reorganization expenses                   9,070    20.5       --      --
            Income tax provision (benefit)             (851)   (1.9)
        (1,068)   (2.4)
         
            Net income (loss)                       $(9,755)  (22.0)
        $(2,075)   (4.8)
         
        Net income (loss) per common share (2)   $(2.57)     --   $(0.55)     --
        Net income (loss) per common share
        excluding reorganization expenses      $(0.27)     --   $(0.55)     --
         
        (1)    Includes $9,070,000 of reorganization expenses as a result of the
        Company's July 2, 1996 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing.
         
        (2)    Based on the weighted average number of outstanding shares of
        common stock and common stock equivalents of 3,793,312 for the period
            ended August 31, 1996 and 3,791,272 for the period ended August
        26, 1995.
         
       

SOURCE Brauns Fashions Corporation -0- 09/25/96 /CONTACT: Stephen W. Clark, Vice President and  
Chief Financial Officer of Braun's Fashions Corporation, 612-551-5106/ (BFCI)