TCR_Public/961010.MBX




InterNet Bankruptcy Library - News for October 10, 1996






Bankruptcy News For October 10, 1996



  1. Cambridge Biotech Corporation - U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals Dissolves Temporary Stay

  2. Best Products agrees to sell assets to investment groups

  3. Best Products Announces September Sales

  4. Columbia Gas Reports Improved Third Quarter, Cites Restructuring, Higher Wellhead Prices

  5. On Command Corporation Completes Acquisition of SpectraVision; New Public Company Lists on
    Nasdaq as `ONCO'




Cambridge Biotech Corporation - U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals Dissolves Temporary Stay


WORCESTER, Mass., Oct. 10, 1996 - Cambridge Biotech Corporation (NASD-OTC-BB: CBCXQ)
reported today that the First Circuit Court of Appeals has dissolved a temporary stay entered by the Court
on September 30, 1996, and denied a request by Institut Pasteur and Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics for a stay
pending appeal. The Court plans to hold a hearing on Pasteur's appeal in November.


The Court's action followed a decision by the District Court upholding CBC's reorganization plan and
dismissing an appeal by Pasteur. The automatic 10 day stay of the District Court's decision expires on
October 11. Previously, on July 18, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirmed CBC's plan and overruled
objections by Pasteur.


Cambridge Biotech Corporation, which filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States
Bankruptcy Code on July 7, 1994, is a therapeutics and diagnostics company focusing on infectious
diseases and cancer. The Company is developing and commercializing products which stimulate the
immune system for use in treating certain infectious diseases and specific cancers. The therapeutic
products include the Stimulon(TM) family of adjuvants, the most advanced of which, QS-21, is in clinical
development through corporate and academic partners, and proprietary vaccines. The proprietary
vaccines include a feline leukemia vaccine currently on the market and, in development, human vaccines
for pneumococcal infections, malaria and tick borne diseases, and animal vaccines for bovine mastitis
and canine Lyme disease. Cambridge Biotech's diagnostic business is primarily focused on retroviral and
Lyme diseases.


Statements in this release which relate to plans and objectives of management for future operations of
CBC and Aquila Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. or which otherwise relate to future performance are forward
looking statements. Actual results may differ from those projected as a result of CBC's ability to emerge
from bankruptcy, product demand, pricing, market acceptance, economic conditions, intellectual property
issues, competitive products, risks in product and technology development, and other risks identified in
the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.


SOURCE Cambridge Biotech Corporation/CONTACT: Alison Taunton-Rigby, Ph.D., President, Chief
Executive Officer of Cambridge Biotech Corporation, 508-797-5777, or Robert Gottlieb, Senior Vice
President of Feinstein Partners, Inc. 617-577-8110/ (CBCXQ)




Best Products agrees to sell assets to investment groups


RICHMOND, Va.--Oct. 10, 1996--Deal may expedite completion of chapter 11 case Approval of
bankruptcy court required Best Products Co., Inc. (Nasdaq: BESTQ) today announced it has signed an
agreement to sell substantially all of its retail store- related assets to a combination of Schottenstein
Bernstein Capital Group, LLC and Alco Capital Group, Inc. The transaction is valued at approximately
$395 million, including the liquidation proceeds from the closing of the 81 retail stores announced earlier
this week. The agreement is subject to the completion of the investment groups' due diligence and
approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court.


Best Products Chief Executive Officer Daniel H. Levy said, "We believe this agreement is in the best
interests of Best Products' associates and creditors. It may allow the Chapter 11 case to be completed
more quickly than originally anticipated, provide continuing employment possibilities and give continuing
stores their best opportunity to return to profitability."


If a final agreement is approved, the transaction would be completed before Thanksgiving, and
Schottenstein Bernstein and Alco would acquire and continue to operate Best Products' remaining 88 Best
stores and 11 Best Jewelry stores. The investment groups would also offer employment to a substantial
number of Best Products' employees.


Schottenstein Bernstein and Alco have said they intend, at least initially, to operate the acquired stores
from Best Products' Richmond, Va.-based headquarters.


Best Products, which commenced Chapter 11 under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on September 24, currently
operates 169 Best stores and 11 Best Jewelry stores in 23 states. The company announced earlier this
week that it would close 81 Best stores by the end of December.


CONTACT: Best Products Nora Crouch, 804/261-2179 or Harry Katz, 804/261-2052 (Financial) or
Ross Richardson, 804/261-2157 (Media)




Best Products Announces September Sales


RICHMOND, Va.--Oct. 10, 1996--Best Products Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: BESTQ) today reported that sales
for fiscal September, the five weeks ended October 5, 1996 decreased 26.5% to $94.2 million compared
to $128.1 million for the five weeks ended September 30, 1995. Comparable store sales decreased
28.3%.


Fiscal year-to-date sales decreased 12.3% to $712.1 million for the 35 weeks ended October 5, 1996
compared to $812.0 million for the same period in 1995. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased
15.5%.


Best Products, a specialty retailer offering category-dominant assortments of jewelry and home
furnishings, operates 169 Best stores in 23 states. The company, which commenced a Chapter 11 case in
United States Bankruptcy Court on September 24, announced earlier this week that it intends to close 81
Best stores by the end of the year.


CONTACT: Best Products Inc., Richmond Financial Information: Nora Crouch, 804/261-2179 or Harry
Katz, 212/261-2052; Media Contact: Ross Richardson, 804/261-2157




Columbia Gas Reports Improved Third Quarter, Cites Restructuring, Higher Wellhead Prices


RESTON, Va., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ - The Columbia Gas System Inc. (NYSE: CG) today said that
adjusted 1996 third quarter income improved $11.5 million, or 23 cents per share, over last year, posting
an adjusted net loss of $3.6 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to an adjusted loss of $15.1 million,
or 30 cents per share, in the same period in 1995.


Columbia Chairman Oliver G. Richard III said the improvement in third quarter results "reflects higher
rates, higher wellhead prices and restructuring initiatives that have improved customer services and
operating efficiencies and helped control costs."


Richard also said that colder weather and higher rates for the first nine months of 1996 resulted in
adjusted net income of $168.9 million, or $3.17 per share, up $93.1 million, or $1.67 per share, over the
same period last year, reflecting the strong performance for the first three quarters of this year.


Current nine-month results were adjusted for $21.1 million, after tax, for restructuring costs, and a $5.6
million improvement to net income for an adjustment to the sale of Columbia's southwestern natural gas
and oil subsidiary that was sold at year-end 1995. Adjustments in the prior period consisted of $126.3
million for the after-tax effect of not recording interest expense on prepetition debt obligations and a
decrease in net income of $23.1 million for bankruptcy-related professional fees and related services, he
said.


Reported net income for the first nine months of 1996 was $153.4 million, or $2.88 per share, compared
to $179 million, or $3.54 per share, last year. The 1995 results included the beneficial effect of not
recording $126.3 million of interest on debt because of Columbia's Chapter 11 status. Columbia came out
of bankruptcy at the end of November 1995.


Third Quarter Results


Because of the seasonal nature of local gas distribution businesses, the third quarter of any year typically
shows a loss.


This year, Columbia had a reported third quarter net loss of $6.1 million, or 11 cents per share. Last year,
when Columbia was in Chapter 11 and had no interest expense for prepetition debt obligations, net
income was $19.3 million, or 38 cents per share. The current period includes $2.5 million for the
after-tax effect of severance and benefits expenses generated by an ongoing Columbia restructuring
program; the year-ago period included $8.5 million after-tax expense for bankruptcy-related issues and
the benefit of not recording $42.9 million of interest on prepetition debt during the Chapter 11
proceedings.


For the three months ending Sept. 30, operating income for the transmission segment of $36 million was
down $5.3 million from the same period last year. Contributing to lower income were an unfavorable
court decision that overturned an earlier Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling, as well as higher
property taxes. On the other hand, higher rates helped mitigate those decreases. In the third quarter last
year, $6.8 million in revenue was recorded for exit fees paid to Columbia Gulf.


A third quarter 1996 seasonal operating loss for the distribution segment of $19.3 million was tempered
by higher rates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky and Virginia, plus lower operating costs resulting
from recently implemented restructuring initiatives. In the same period last year the distribution segment
had an operating loss of $25.5 million.


The oil and gas exploration and production segment had operating income of $5.4 million compared to an
operating loss of $400,000 in 1995 that included the results of Columbia's southwestern natural gas and
oil subsidiary that was sold at year-end 1995. The principal reason for improvement was higher
Appalachian average gas prices of $2.45 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), up 18 percent. In addition,
Appalachian production of 8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) was relatively unchanged.


Operating income of $1.4 million for other Columbia energy operations decreased $1.4 million from the
same period last year, reflecting restructuring expenses, start-up costs for new appliance programs, lower
margins from gas marketing, reduced income from cogeneration activities and by power project
development expenses.


Nine Month Operating Income By Segment


The transmission segment's operating income of $160.4 million increased $6.6 million in 1996 over the
same period in 1995, due primarily to higher rates. Partially offsetting the higher rates was a restructuring
expense of $6.1 million recorded earlier, the unfavorable court decision (mentioned above) and higher
taxes. Income in 1995 was increased by $12.2 million by exit fees paid to Columbia Gulf.


The favorable impact of colder weather and higher rates for the distribution segment resulted in operating
income of $145.7 million, an increase of $62.9 million over last year. These gains were tempered by
$15.9 million of restructuring expenses.


Operating income of $22.6 million for the oil and gas exploration and production segment reflected
sharply higher natural gas prices in 1996. There was a $700,000 operating loss for the same period in
1995. The average gas price for Appalachian production for the first nine months of 1996 was $2.81 per
Mcf, up 30 percent over the same period in 1995.


Colder weather also improved results for the other Columbia energy operations through increased gas
marketing activities and higher propane sales and margins. This was partially offset by restructuring
expenses and resulted in operating income of $15 million, an increase of $2.6 million over the same
period in 1995.


Columbia Gas System is one of the nation's largest natural gas systems with assets of nearly $6 billion. Its
operating companies are engaged in all phases of the natural gas business from the wellhead to the burner
tip, plus marketing and fuel management services and electric power generation. Columbia companies,
directly or indirectly, serve more than 7 million natural gas consumers in 15 states and the District of
Columbia. Information about Columbia is available on the World Wide Web at
http://www.columbiaenergy.com.Columbia Gas System stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange  
under the symbol CG.


                          THE COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM, INC.
                       Summary of Financial Operating Data
        

                                            Three Months        Nine Months
                                             Ended September 30,  Ended
        September 30,
        

        Income Statement Data             1996       1995     1996      1995
        ($ millions)
           Total Operating Revenue       450.8      366.3   2,236.2   1,851.6
              Net Income                  (6.1)      19.3     153.4     179.0
        

           Operating Income (Loss)
            By Segment:
             Transmission                 36.0       41.3     160.4     153.8
             Distribution                (19.3)     (25.5)    145.7      82.8
             Oil and Gas                   5.4       (0.4)     22.6      (0.7)
             Other Energy                  1.4        2.8      15.0      12.4
             Corporation                  (2.6)      (3.9)     (8.6)     (7.2)
        

           Total                          20.9       14.3     335.1     241.1
        

        Per Share Data
           Earnings on Common Stock     ($0.11)     $0.38     $2.88     $3.54
        

           Average Common Shares
            Outstanding (millions)        55.2       50.6      53.3      50.6
        

        Capitalization
        ($ millions)
                                             September 30,  December 31,
                                                1996           1995
        Common Stock Equity
           Common Stock, par value $10 per share-
            outstanding 55,206,184 and 49,204,025
            shares, respectively                552.1         506.2
        

           Additional paid in capital           741.2         595.8
        

           Retained earnings                    199.3          69.8
        

           Unearned employee compensation        (1.5)          ---
        

           Cost of treasury stock (1,416,155
             shares outstanding as of
             December 31, 1995)                   ---         (57.8)
        

        Total Common Stock Equity             1,491.1       1,114.0
        

        Preferred Stock                           ---         399.9
        

        Long-Term Debt                        2,004.0       2,004.5
        

        Total Capitalization                  3,495.1       3,518.4
        

                                              Three Months          Nine Months
                                               Ended September 30,   Ended
        September 3 0,
        

                                              1996      1995      1996     1995
        Operating Data
         Oil and Gas Volumes:
           Gas Production (billion cubic feet)
                Appalachian                       8.0         7.9      24.6
        25.1
        

                Southwest                         ---         8.0
        ---      24.7
        

               Total                              8.0        15.9      24.6
        49.8
        

           Oil Production (000 barrels)
                Appalachian                        64          76       217
        234
        

                Southwest                         ---         661
        ---     1,941
        

               Total                               64         737       217
        2,175
        

        Transmission (billion cubic feet):
           Transportation
             Columbia Transmission
                    Market Area                  161.1      171.8     788.2
        767.7
        

             Columbia Gulf
                    Main-Line                    145.9      143.3     475.2
        450.0
        

                    Short haul                    90.1       55.5     223.5
        159.9
        

               Intrasegment Eliminations        (145.1)    (141.8)   (469.8)
        (443.8)
        

            Total Throughput                     252.0      228.8   1,017.1
        933.8
        

        Distribution (billion cubic feet):
               Gas Sales                          20.6       20.3     217.7
        190.9
        

               Transportation                     52.1       55.1     183.8
        190.6
        

            Total Throughput                      72.7       75.4     401.5
        381.5
        

        Degree Days-Distribution Service Territory
               Actual                              103        102     3,910
        3,484
        

               Normal                               41         41     3,600
        3,568
        

               % Colder (warmer) than normal       151        149         9
        (2)
        

               % Colder (warmer) than prior period   1          4        12
        (10)
        

        Bankruptcy-related and Unusual Items
         After-tax effect on Net Income
        ($ millions)
            Reported Net Income                   (6.1)      19.3     153.4
        179.0
        

           Less:
           Bankruptcy related items
             Estimated interest costs not
              recorded on prepetition debt
                  prior to emergence               ---       42.9
        ---      126.3
        

             Professional fees and
                  related expenses                 ---       (8.5)
        ---      (23.1)
        

                 Restructure costs                (2.5)       ---    (21.1)
        ---
        

             Adjustments to Southwest oil and gas
                  operations                       ---        ---      5.6
        ---
        

                Total adjustments                 (2.5)      34.4    (15.5)
        103.2
        

        Net Income after adjusting for
             bankruptcy and unusual items         (3.6)     (15.1)   168.9
        75.8
        

SOURCE Columbia Gas System/CONTACT: Media, John H. Jennrich, 703-295-0423, or Carl Ericson,
703-295-0424, or Analysts, Tom Hughes, 703-295-0429, or Melissa Bockelmann, 703-295-0427, all of
Columbia Gas/(CG)




On Command Corporation Completes Acquisition of SpectraVision; New Public Company Lists on
Nasdaq as `ONCO'


SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 10, 1996 - On Command Corporation, a new public company, has
concluded its acquisition of SpectraVision, Inc., making On Command the world's largest provider of
in-room entertainment and information services to the hotel industry. On Command Corporation combines
the SpectraVision assets with On Command Video Corporation to create a hotel video distribution system
of more than 900,000 rooms and 100 million annual viewers. The company will trade on the Nasdaq
exchange under the ticker symbol "ONCO."


Led by former AT&T and Creative Artists Agency new media executive Bob Kavner as its president and
CEO, On Command Corporation will offer a variety of interactive video entertainment and information
services primarily to business and luxury class guest rooms, including video-on-demand, Sony
PlayStation(TM) video games, DSS(TM) digital satellite service and the Bell Atlantic InfoTravel(TM)
interactive concierge. It is based in Santa Clara, California.


"On Command's advanced technology, large viewing audience and superior demographics give it the
scale and resources to provide hotel guest room viewers the programming they want and need today,"
said Kavner. "On Command is positioned to be in the vanguard of interactive programming developments
- offering breakthrough new media applications to hotel guests before they reach large scale residential
markets."


As the head of On Command Corporation, Kavner will focus on the integration of the two companies and
developing a long-term strategic plan that will enhance On Command's leadership position in on-demand
programming by developing new products and services targeted at the hotel industry and other multi-unit
environments, such as apartments. Before joining On Command in mid-September, Kavner headed his
own consulting firm specializing in broadband and Internet on-demand ventures. Prior to that he
spearheaded Creative Artist Agency's communications industries consulting practice and served as CEO
of AT&T's MultiMedia Products and Services Group.


As of June 30, 1996, On Command Video served approximately 419,000 hotel rooms and SpectraVision,
Inc. served approximately 495,000 hotel rooms. A registration statement filed with the SEC for On
Command Corporation became effective Monday, October 7.


On Command Corporation was created by Ascent Entertainment Group, Inc., a Denver-based media and
entertainment company (Nasdaq: GOAL) that owned approximately 80 percent of On Command Video
Corporation. Ascent will continue to own approximately 57.2 percent of the new On Command
Corporation. The SpectraVision bankruptcy estate will receive 27.5 percent of On Command
Corporation's common stock, distributed through the court-approved bankruptcy plan to SpectraVision's
creditors and resolving claims of approximately $600 million. On Command Corporation will issue
warrants, equal to 20 percent on a fully-diluted basis, to shareholders of On Command Corporation which
will be traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "ONCOW."


Ascent Entertainment Group's principal business is providing pay- per-view entertainment and
information services through its majority- owned On Command Corporation. Ascent owns and operates
additional entertainment-related businesses, including the NHL Stanley Cup Champion Colorado
Avalanche, NBA Denver Nuggets and Beacon Communications, a motion picture and television
production company.


SOURCE Ascent Entertainment Group, Inc. /CONTACT: Paul E. Jacobson of On Command,
303-626-7060, Karen Amrhine of Sard, Verbinnen & Co., 212-687-8080/ (ONCO GOAL)