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InterNet Bankruptcy Library - News for April 2, 1997







Bankruptcy News For April 2, 1997




        
  1. BizTraders Asset Brokers, Inc.
            Announces New Internet Based Service for Brokering
            Intellectual Property

  2.     
  3. House of Fabrics Names Donald L. Richey
            President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

  4.     
  5. Ericsson comments on Pocket's
            announcement

  6.     
  7. A.M. Best Lowers Ratings Of Insurance
            Units Of Montgomery Ward & Co.






BizTraders Asset Brokers, Inc. Announces New
Internet Based Service for Brokering Intellectual Property



New Service Can Revolutionize the Process for Securing Names
for Products, Services, or Companies



DALLAS, TX - April 2, 1997 - BizTraders Asset Brokers, Inc., a
wholly owned subsidiary of LinkedPlanet Media Corporation, has
announced a new service - BizTraders Network(TM) - which is
currently being rolled out on a nationwide basis.



According to Doug Bonestroo, President and CEO, the reason the
service was launched was to allow buyers and sellers of
intellectual property to have a place where they can go to
quickly purchase or sell intangibles. "I had a real need for
the service in 1992 and again in 1993, and the players that were
in the market were only interested in very large transactions. We
created this service for the company that wants to buy or sell a
package including a website, a domain name, a servicemark or
trademark, a profit center, etc. for $25,000 - all the way up to
buying or selling all of the assets of a company for several
million dollars."



Many companies have been delayed in rolling out a new product,
service, or company name because of the difficulty and amount of
time it takes to select a name that can be protected - and the
amount of time it takes to actually get a trademark or
servicemark registered. In the fast-moving, globally networked
economy that we all compete in, branding and time to market are
extremely important factors in the ultimate success or failure of
a particular venture. This newly created BizTraders Network(TM)
service can revolutionize and streamline these processes.



With the large number of Internet related startups, there are
also going to be many Internet startup failures. If overall 70%
of all startups fall in the first five years, Internet startups
should be no different. Most of the failed startups will have
intellectual property that they can sell in order to raise cash.
Many will go into bankruptcy and their assets will be liquidated.
The value of this sort of intellectual property may be very high
since there are a limited number of combinations of elements
denoting computers, networks, etc. and new names are tough to
come by.



The new website can be found at
http://www.biztraders.com.



SOURCE BizTraders Asset Brokers, Inc. /CONTACT: Doug
Bonestroo, President and CEO of BizTraders Asset Brokers, Inc.,
1-888-333-3064/






House of Fabrics Names Donald L. Richey
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director



SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., April 2, 1997 - href="chap11.house.html">House of Fabrics, Inc. (Nasdaq:
HFAB) today announced the appointment of Donald L. Richey as
president, chief executive officer and a member of the company's
board of directors, effective April 1, 1997.



Richey, 53, succeeds Gary L. Larkins, 54, who was named to the
newly created post of vice chairman last December.



Most recently, Richey was executive vice president and chief
operating officer of Fabri-Centers of America, a Hudson,
Ohio-based specialty retailer with approximately 950 stores and
$800 million in annual revenue. He previously was president of
Cloth World, a 340- store retail fabric chain headquartered in
St. Louis, which was sold to Fabri-Centers in 1994. Richey also
was executive vice president and chief operating officer of
Hancock Fabrics, Inc., Tupelo, Mississippi, where he held various
managerial positions from 1966 to 1990.



R.N. Hankin, House of Fabrics' chairman of the board, said,
"Don Richey brings a wealth of experience to House of
Fabrics at an important time in the company's development. He is
a proven leader in our industry who has demonstrated his talents
in increasing sales and profits, as well as in managerial and
operations functions. We look forward to the contributions he
will make guiding the future of House of Fabrics in its next
phase of growth.



"The board wishes to acknowledge the many contributions
made to House of Fabrics by Gary Larkins," continued Hankin.
"Gary has been with the company for more than two decades,
serving as chief executive officer since 1986, and guiding the
company through unprecedented growth, the challenges of
bankruptcy and a successful turnaround."



Richey earned a bachelor of science degree in business
management from Mississippi State University.



House of Fabrics currently operates 262 company-owned House of
Fabrics, Sofro Fabrics, Fabricland and Fabric King retail fabric
and craft stores in 28 states and employees approximately 7,000
people.



SOURCE House of Fabrics, Inc. /CONTACT: Marvin S. Maltzman of
House of Fabrics, Inc., 818-385-2303; or Roger S. Pondel of
Pondel Parsons & Wilkinson, 310-207-9300/






Ericsson comments on Pocket's
announcement



STOCKHOLM, Sweden--April 2, 1997--According to a press release
sent out by Pocket Communications Inc., (Pocket) on April 1st
1997, Pocket has filed for court protection under Chapter 11 of
the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Maryland, Northern Division.



In the release of April 1st, Pocket states that the company
has secured commitments for more than $646 million in financing
to build out its PCS networks from vendors including Ericsson,
Siemens Stromberg-Carlson and Nortel, and has completed
agreements with Ericsson and Nortel for $481 million of that
financing.



Ericsson views this move positively and believes it will give
Pocket the opportunity to improve the company's business.



It is correct that Ericsson has a commitment for vendor
financing for part of the $481 million mentioned in the Pocket
release. The vendor financing is related to the supply of
equipment according to a frame agreement. These deliveries have
not yet taken place to any significant degree, which means that
Ericsson will not be significantly affected financially.
Furthermore, the sum mentioned above has not yet been listed as a
firm order by Ericsson.



Ericsson's 90,000 employees are active in more than 130
countries. Their combined expertise in fixed and mobile networks,
mobile phones and infocom systems, makes Ericsson the
world-leading supplier in telecommunications.



CONTACT: KATHY EGAN or LARS JONSTEG 212/685-4030






A.M. Best Lowers Ratings Of Insurance Units
Of Montgomery Ward & Co.



OLDWICK, N.J.--April 2, 1997--Effective immediately, A. M.
Best Co. has lowered the ratings on the Signature Group of
insurance companies to "B++" (Very Good) from
"A-" (Excellent) and placed the companies under review
with negative implications.



The companies affected are Montgomery Ward Life Insurance Co.,
Forum Insurance Co., Montgomery Ward Insurance Co. and Signature
Life Insurance Co., all of Schaumburg, Ill. These companies are
members of the Signature Group, one of the nation's largest
direct- marketing companies, offering insurance products,
auto-club products and other consumer services.



This action follows the filing of a regulatory report by the
group's ultimate parent, Montgomery Ward & Co., that it
recorded a $249 million net loss for the year ended Dec. 31,
1996. The downgrade from the "Excellent" category
reflects the poor financial condition of Montgomery Ward. The
decision to maintain Secure ratings on the companies, given A.M.
Best's concerns about the financial strength of Montgomery Ward,
reflects the strategic relationship that exists with General
Electric Credit Corp., which owns 57% of Montgomery Ward and has
other significant financial interests in the organization.



Montgomery Ward & Co., maintains a relatively high degree
of financial leverage (reflected by its consolidated
debt-to-capital position of 65% at year end 1996) and has
approximately $1 billion of debt due to its bank creditors in
August 1997. The company's weakened operating
performance--expected to continue through the first half of
1997--combined with its weak cash flow, raises concerns about the
organization's ability to service its outstanding debt and
creates uncertainty about the future ownership of the Signature
Group.



A.M. Best also recognizes the initiatives of Montgomery Ward's
new management team in pursuing a strategic review of its
recapitalization and restructuring alternatives. These
initiatives, which may include the disposition of certain assets,
are expected to improve the organization's financial condition
and are expected to be presented to its creditors before the end
of the second quarter of 1997.



A.M. Best's review will focus on the viability of Montgomery
Ward, the uncertainty of the future ownership position and
ongoing support provided by General Electric Capital Corp., and
the potential impact on the Signature Group's marketing
activities if it is no longer part of the Montgomery Ward
organization. A significant portion of the Signature Group's
revenues--and, hence, the earnings of the insurance
operations--is derived from Montgomery Ward customers.



A.M. Best also will monitor any cash demands that may be
placed on the Signature Group and the impact this would have on
its Secure rating designation, if it remains part of Montgomery
Ward. The ratings will remain under review pending discussions
with management regarding the outcome of the parent company's
debt refinancing and corporate restructuring.



A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is America's oldest and
most widely recognized insurance rating and information source.



CONTACT: A.M. Best Co., Oldwick Jeffrey Dunsavage (908)
439-2200, ext. 5618 http://www.ambest.com