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How Good Is Bill Franke Ex American West?  
User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Posted (13 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4619 times:

The just announced partnership of Bill Franke ex American West and Fox/Lew "New Ansett", it looks
like this guy will be calling the shots as in managing
Ansett in Australia, maybe some of our U.S. cousins
can give us Aussies some idea on his past form.


8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBaxter From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

He built AmWest from bankruptcy into a major and then collapsed them back to near bankruptcy.

User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4580 times:

SYDNEY (Dow Jones)--Businessmen Solomon Lew and Lindsay Fox said Monday they signed an agreement for Air Partners III Australia LLC to become an equity partner in Tesna Holdings Pty. Ltd.

Tesna was set up by Lew and Fox as a holding company to take over the ailing Ansett Airlines.

"The terms of Air Partners' investment in Ansett are confidential. However, Messrs. Lew and Fox, while sharing management control, will retain majority ownership and will be co-chairmen after Jan. 31," said Lew and Fox in a statement.

Tesna will become the new owner of Ansett from Jan. 31 following the completion of the sale agreement with Ansett administrator Arthur Andersen for Ansett's main trunk routes on all major cities.

The key investors in Air Partners include airline executives David Bonderman and Bill Franke.

Bonderman is currently chairman of Irish airline Ryanair Holdings and a director of Continental Airlines Inc.

Franke was chief executive of America West Airlines from 1993 to August this year.

"The Air Partner team brings to Tesna and Ansett significant and successful airline and aircraft finance experience that includes investments in Continental Airlines, America West Airlines ,Ryanair and the aircraft finance company AerFi PLC," said Lew-Fox in a statement.

Lew and Fox said Air Partners will contribute human resources, intellectual and financial capital and an international network of industry relationships to Ansett.

The Air Partners investment is subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board, they said.

Arthur Andersen wasn't immediately available to comment on the Lew-Fox and Air Partners agreement.

A spokeswoman for Fox declined to comment further on the Air Partners agreement, saying "more announcements over the next week or two" were expected.

No further details about the Air Partners minority stake were available, she said.

-By Lilly Vitorovich; Dow Jones Newswires;

61-2-8235-2963; lilly.vitorovich@dowjones.com

User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4576 times:


Great, that gives us a lot of confidence. :-(


User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3312 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4581 times:

First off, I'd like to clarify that it's America West, and not American West. About Bill Franke....I'm sorry to say but the man is nothing more than a greedy money-grubber. He has absolutely no concept of how to run an airline, nor is he interested in how an airline works. All decisions he makes are based solely on what he can put in his back pocket. The bottomline and nothing else, not morale, not performance are what's important to him. He also has no people skills whatsoever....prior to leaving America West, he had recieved numerous death threats from disgruntled and fired employees and he has become one of the most hated men in Arizona because of adversely affecting the lives of many. Maybe he can turn a company around, but Ansett deserves far better than to be sucked dry by him.

User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 days ago) and read 4553 times:

Thanks for the replies guys, although a bit worrying,
most of us Aussies thought SIA would be the future
managers of Ansett.


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 days ago) and read 4554 times:

On the other hand, David Bonderman has a good reputation!

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4551 times:

Bill Franke, IMO, is the proverbial rat who abandoned the ship he knew to be sinking -- more than one year before the expiration date of his contract with America West (HP), which he he had agreed to just months earlier. All of which happened well before 9/11 and its aftereffects put HP's future in even greater jeopardy. IMO Bill Franke sacrificed the future of HP for immediate, short-lived profit -- and he knew it; once he began to sense that many others could see that he had sold out HP and its dedicated employees to make himself look good in the "now" he abandoned ship at the first sign of the inevitable downward movement in HP's earnings, which quickly turned to losses in spite of strong load factors, low labor costs and manageable debt. Bill Franke was, like many airline execs, an expert in tripping over dollars to pick up pennies. In management-labor relations, IMO, he rivals the likes of Frank Lorenzo and Stephen Wolf in the credibility he has earned.

Lots of luck to whoever his new employer may be.

User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4543 times:

Tuesday "Melbourne Age":

US billionaire joins Fox-Lew bid

Tuesday 18 December 2001
ISSUES 2001: Ansett crisis

Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew have recruited two wealthy American businessmen as partners in their their plan to revive Ansett.

David Bonderman, a billionaire Texan investor and Bill Franke, a former airline chief executive, have agreed to take an undisclosed stake in the Fox-Lew bid to take over Ansett from January 31.

The deal means that the Melbourne duo can no longer claim to be mounting a 100 per cent Australian bid, but they gain partners who bring the key asset they lack - hands-on exposure to the airline industry.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but one of Mr Bonderman's private investment companies, Air Partners, is expected to take more than 30 per cent of the venture, with Mr Fox and Mr Lew retaining majority control.

Bonderman investment companies have been involved with the successful European discount airline Ryanair, of which Mr Bonderman is chairman, and the revival of two US airlines, Continental and America West.

An adviser to the failed staff buy-out bid for Ansett also revealed yesterday that the syndicate had approached Mr Bonderman's group to back their bid.

Mr Bonderman's main private equity vehicle, Texas Pacific, was recently reported to be cashed up after raising $US4 billion and looking for significant investment opportunities, particularly outside the United States.

Mr Fox and Mr Lew had been negotiating for Singapore Airlines to operate a revived Ansett, but the US deal points the Australian duo to an alternative arrangement, coordinated by the Bonderman interests.

The Fox-Lew company, Tesna Holdings, has been selected by Ansett's administrators as preferred bidder for Ansett, and faces a January 31 deadline to complete the purchase.

The deal is yet to finally ratified by Ansett's creditors, however, and Mr Fox and Mr Lew are under pressure to keep up the momentum because Lang Corp and Virgin Air are promoting a rival offer for Ansett assets.

Ansett administrator Mark Mentha said yesterday's announcement did not exclude Singapore from future involvement. But Mr Fox and Mr Lew said that the record of Mr Bonderman and his partners in "building strong management teams and actively managing their airline investments is the preferred outcome".

Mr Fox and Mr Lew said Air Partners would provide "human resources, intellectual and financial capital and an international network of industry relationships to Ansett".

Mr Franke, a former chief executive of America West Airlines, is in partnership with Mr Bonderman in the investment. Mr Franke is now in Australia working with Mr Fox and Mr Lew to compile Ansett's new senior management team.

Mr Bonderman said in a statement that Ansett represented a "unique circumstance" and an opportunity to build value.

The new partners in Ansett were described recently by Business Week as "globe-trotting deal-makers" who had moved aggressively after the September 11 terrorist attacks, announcing a $US660 million acquisition of a Norwegian phone-directory company on September 17, taking control of the third largest silicon wafer maker two weeks later, and in early October launching a $US1.6 billion-plus rescue bid for a struggling German bank.

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