B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5453 times:
Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc
6991 E Camelback Rd Suite B-305 Scottsdale AZ 85251 480-874-1832
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc files bid for Trans World Airlines (TWA).
SCOTTSDALE, AZ. (Feb. 28, 2001) -- Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc (JAG) is pleased to make the following statement.
"This afternoon at 2:34pm EST, Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc (JAG) filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware a conforming, competing bid to acquire substantially all assets of Trans World Airlines, Inc (TWA). JAG is also placing a deposit with the attorneys for TWA, as required by the court.
JAG looks forward to the remainder of the bidding process and is dedicated to ensure that their bid will be found to be the highest and the best. The principals of JAG believe that TWA will be a very viable and successful airline.
JAG has great faith in the dedicated employees of TWA who have played a major role in the over 75 year history of aviation's pioneer airline. A new shared vision of TWA in the 21st Century will be one that excites all the constituents of TWA, namely the employees, the communities served and the investors."
Stanford E. Lerch
Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc
Ladevale From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5287 times:
If they did submit a bid, one has got to wonder how credible that bid is given the fact that they never even bothered to perform due diligence on TWA.
Whatever the amount they are offering for TWA, what judge would take them seriously when they have no idea what they are buying.
May be these guys should have bought a toy airline set and practiced with that for a while. At least, then, they would have had some idea that an airline just doesn't consist of planes, but is the sum of a whole mass of contracts.
WishIhadalife From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5267 times:
Well if this is any indication...
The court documents cite Skywest founder and former CEO Mr. J. Ralph Atkins as being the president of JAG. It also notes the CEO of ILFC is on the same board of Skywest. It should also be noted that Skywest is the most profitable independent regional carrier in the world flying for United and Delta. If that is correct.. JAG is credible. I just wonder what else they are keeping in their deck of cards...
Seems like they know an awful lot about what they are buying.
Also... Note that ILFC, IAM, and others filed to block the AMR deal... Hmmm!
NRA-3B From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5201 times:
Well, we have seen that Icahn did file for due diligence information. AND this JAG outfit did't. Maybe they got their information from someone other than TWA?
I have a bad feeling about this.
If this move is just to blow AA out of the deal, or make them pay way too much, what will happen to many of the promises made to employees of TWA, as well as the retirees. (Some of whom are related to me.)
Remember, these JAG guys have made no representation that they would match any of the AA offers regarding the employees and their jobs.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5176 times:
Group planning TWA bid stirs skepticism What little is known about the four principals raises doubts that they will be able to pony up a $50 million deposit.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
One is a little-known international financier from Oregon who says he's an adjunct business professor at Ohio University. Problem is, school officials say there's no record of his having worked there.
Another is a Sri Lankan investor who last year reportedly came under investigation for operating an unlicensed bank. A third, Stanford Lerch, is a 68-year-old lawyer and head of a five-person law firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Finally, there's Albert C. Vitale, a Floridian who calls himself a consultant to start-up carriers and has told business associates that he once flew for Pan Am. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Albert C. Vitale was issued a pilot's license seven years ago, but only for single-engine aircraft on flights over land. Pan Am went out of business in December 1991.
"If this is the same Albert Vitale, he didn't fly commercially for Pan Am," FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said, noting that Pan Am flew much bigger airplanes.
If Herwig is perplexed, he isn't alone. These are the four principals behind a prospective $6.2 billion bid for the bankrupt Trans World Airlines. If the group makes such an offer by Wednesday's bankruptcy court deadline, it will nearly double what American Airlines - the only other known bidder - has agreed to pay.
Airline industry experts express plenty of skepticism that this little-known group, which calls itself Jet Acquisitions Group or "JAG," will pony up the $50 million deposit and enter a bid for the struggling St. Louis-based carrier. The group's background and reluctance to discuss specific plans - it has disclosed nothing about its financing - have raised questions among people who follow the industry.
"From the outset, Wall Street has substantially questioned the overall credibility of this group," said Samuel Buttrick, a prominent industry analyst with the UBS Warburg investment firm in New York.
A JAG spokesman said as recently as 10 days ago that the group will go forward with its bid. The spokesman also said the group will win any bidding war and turn TWA, a chronic money-loser, into one of the industry's five largest and most successful airlines in just five years.
If more than one bid is made by 3 p.m. Wednesday, TWA's investment bankers will hold an auction in New York on March 5. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Peter Walsh is scheduled to declare the winner at a hearing in Wilmington, Del., on March 9.
Other than a couple of public announcements, JAG officials have shied away from the news media. Numerous attempts by the Star- Telegram to reach them over the last three weeks have been unsuccessful. A public relations firm that handled the group's initial announcement no longer works for JAG.
However, 10 days ago, Lerch gave a brief interview to Bloomberg News.
He complained that American's position as the bankruptcy lender to TWA, and the $65 million breakup fee that American would receive if outbid by another suitor, "puts other people at a disadvantage."
Lerch did acknowledge, however, the enormous challenge of making TWA a successful stand-alone carrier. Not only will JAG "pay what we have to pay to win the auction bid," Lerch said, "there is going to have to be a substantial infusion of capital into the airline to make it viable."
Throughout his legal career, Lerch has focused on providing commercial law services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Phoenix area and on divorce cases involving personal and small business bankruptcies, according to his Web site and information from the Arizona Bar Association.
He said he played a significant role in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Continental and America West Airlines. But officials at those airlines dispute that, noting that he was not a member of the creditors committees and did not represent any large creditors.
Lerch did not return calls to the Star-Telegram.
JAG's lead investor is Donald R. Moody, an international financier from Portland, Ore. According to an initial press release, Moody has more than $1 billion in assets at his disposal.
But magazines that track the nation's ultrarich, such as Fortune and Forbes, have not written about him. And, at least in recent years, his name hasn't appeared in his hometown newspaper, The Oregonian, according to a check of that newspaper.
Jim Jeddeloh, president of Perkins & Co., Portland's largest locally owned accounting and financial services firm, said last week that Moody was president of an affiliate company, Perkins International, until 10 months ago, when the two parted amicably.
Now, he said, Moody works primarily through Moody Trust Co., his operating company which invests in international deals. Jeddeloh said the two remain good friends.
Moody headed Perkins International for about 18 months, Jeddeloh said, during which time the two "looked over a lot of international deals, some as consultants, some as investment bankers.
"Don's a smart guy and has a lot of contacts with foreign heads of state in places like Korea, Russia, Thailand and so on," Jeddeloh said.
While together, the businessmen looked at 12 to 15 potential deals, Jeddeloh said, "and we got one deal through Phase 1, to the point where we got paid. But we decided to shut the company down about 10 months ago to look for other opportunities independently."
Additionally, Moody says he is an adjunct professor of international finance at Ohio University's College of Business, and a "special financial adviser" to the university.
But records at the school in Athens, Ohio, show that Moody hasn't been on the faculty at least since the university's payroll was computerized in 1992, according to Audra Rose, a secretary in the office of the school's chief financial officer. Rose also said she found no record of Moody having been a financial adviser, paid or unpaid, to Ohio University.
Debbie Evans, administrative assistant to the dean of Ohio University's business school, said Moody is not a member of the regular or adjunct faculty. She also could not locate staff or faculty members who remembered him having taught at the school.
Phone calls to Moody Trust Co. were not returned.
The other JAG investor is Akam Ashroof Gaffoor. Gaffoor is a Hong Kong-based Sri Lankan financier who last year came under civil investigation by the Philippines' Justice Department after being accused of operating an unlicensed bank, according to reports in The Philippines Daily Inquirer. The Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation also launched an investigation, the paper reported last summer.
Vitale may be the group member best known in the industry for his frequent postings and strong arguments about arcane aspects of the business on an Internet discussion board that is popular with airline enthusiasts.
According to his archived postings on the PlaneBusiness.com Web site, Vitale has, at various times, told associates interviewed for this report that he was a commercial pilot - for the regional carrier Ransom Airlines and for Pan American World Airways.
However, Herwig, the FAA spokesman, said the FAA's data show that the only Albert C. Vitale in its records is from Florida and was licensed in 1994 to fly single-engine airplanes over land. It also noted that his airman's medical certificate, first issued in 1995, lapsed in 1998.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5115 times:
From a NY Times article, dated March 1:
A rival bid for most of the T.W.A. assets was received from a collection of little-known investors calling themselves the Jet Acquisitions Group. The group has proposed buying T.W.A.'s assets for $889 million and investing billions more to turn the airline around. But the group has no track record in the airline industry and it failed to make the $50 million deposit yesterday required by the bankruptcy court.
Albert Vitale, a Jet Acquisitions spokesman and shareholder, said the group had tried to submit a $50 million cashier's check but was told the money needed to be wired from a bank to T.W.A.'s lawyers. "We have sent the wire," he said. "Whether or not they have gotten it, I don't know."
Mark Abels, a T.W.A. spokesman, said the airline was unable to verify the deposit but expects to this morning.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5098 times:
(St. Louis, MO) - March 1, 2001 - Trans World Airlines has been advised that Galileo International, L.L.C., has deposited in escrow the required $22 million in support of its bid to purchase TWA’s partnership interest in the Worldspan computer reservations system.
As of 1:00 p.m. EST today, Jet Acquisitions Group, Inc., has not made the required escrow deposit of $50 million in support of its bid to purchase substantially all of the assets of TWA.
Under the auction rules approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the two “competing bidders” must make the escrow deposits in order to participate in Monday’s asset auction. AMR Corporation, which has provided TWA a $200 million debtor in possession financing, is not required to deposit additional amounts in escrow.