April 2 , 2001
UniCapital Robert New Dies in Private Plane Crash
American Express Finalizes Sierra Cities Merger
CitiGroup to Buy American Express????
Finova Continues Losses
GE Buys Franchise Finance
Thank you for the information about Robert New.
UniCapital Co-Founder Dies in Plane CrashFederal Aviation
officials in Denver failed to notify Aspen's control tower that night
instrument landings at this airport ringed by mountains were banned,
investigators looking into a crash that killed 18 people
Aspen jet carried birthday celebrants
By Peggy Lowe, News Staff Writer
Mountain Rocky Newspaper
Limos, a gorgeous Aspen home, a catered dinner.
All were waiting for the birthday bash Robert New planned for his
partner Mario Aguilar and 13 others.
But the flamboyant weekend plans in the posh Rocky Mountain ski resort
down in flames Thursday night when the jet carrying the 15 celebrants
three-person crew slammed into a hillside, killing all aboard.
The expensive and elaborate party plans were vintage Robert New, an
"enormously generous" businessman, said his brother, Jonathan.
"He was renting a jet, renting a beautiful house. There was a catered
waiting," Jonathan New said. "That's who he is. There's nothing like it
he goes to town like that."
New, 36, a financier who lived the wild ups and downs of business,
homes in Snowmass, Miami and Beverly Hills. His wife, Monica, and
son, Matthew, lived full time in Snowmass neighboring a home owned by
star Jack Nicholson.
The jet carried five members of Aguilar's family, including his mother,
and two brothers, Jonathan New said. Other people on the plane included
Tukhi, 26, and Marissa Witham, 22, both staffers at KTTV, the Fox News
affiliate in Los Angeles.
Tukhi was an assignment editor at KTTV and Witham was a production
and researcher, said John Frenzel, the station's program director.
New and Aguilar had known each other for about four years and were
in several business enterprises, said New's Chicago attorney Rene
Jr. He wouldn't be specific about the businesses, but Jonathan New said
brother owned a luxury rental car business and some entertainment
in Los Angeles.
New's generosity was reportedly as flamboyant as his business dealings.
company he founded with fanfare and huge finances in May 1998 recently
announced that it was bankrupt. UniCapital Corp., an equipment leasing
company, raised $532 million in its intial stock offering.
Company officials drove Mercedes-Benzes, ate from Limoges china and
from Baccarat crystal, according to a report in The Miami Herald. New's
private bathroom had marble fixtures and a personal fitness center.
UniCapital is now being liquidated and also faces lawsuits from several
companies, including Colorado-based Boulder Capital Group, Torrado
His attorney called him "a warm, decent human being."
"He had a ready sense of humor, people really responded well to him,"
Torrado said. "When he entered the room, everybody wanted to talk to
Jonathan New, the middle brother of three sons by Rhoda and Alan New,
the chief financial officer at UniCapital. The company rented corporate
jets, but New flew both in private and commercial planes, he said.
Reached at his parent's Miami home on Friday, Jonathan said the family
very surprised that Robert had agreed to fly through bad weather.
"He didn't really enjoy flying in any type of bad weather and he was a
skittish kind of flier," he said. "He would ask the pilot a lot of
and he would be concerned about anything that was going on."
In addition to the birthday party, Robert New was planning to spend
with his family this weekend, but he wasn't a big skier, Jonathan New
He had been visiting Aspen for 15 years and lived there about four
"He just enjoyed the town, the culture and the people," Jonathan New
For more news on how Unicapital Failed, see Miami Hearld Story:'
Amex Closes SierraCities Deal
By Pamela Tate, Dow Jones Newswires
American Express completed its $107.5 million acquisition of equipment
financing company SierraCities.com.
American Express announced the $5.68-a-share cash tender offer for
SierraCities in February.
In other news, shares of American Express rose as much as 8% earlier
(3/30/01) on renewed speculation that Citigroup might be eyeing the
for a takeover. The company declined to comment on the rumor, published
New York Stock Exchange-listed shares of American Express closed Friday
$41.30, up 6% for the day on volume of 13.5 million, nearly twice the
average daily activity.
Leasing News has been following this story since the company changed
name from First Sierra, became an "internet company," if you will, with
For a complete story, please go to:
In a related story, it is rumored that Citigroup is considering buying
American Express. The stock is a good buy for them now, and the price
talked about is $56 billion. Citigroup purchased Associated Finance
billion, I believe the largest for a finance company at the time. With
the major mergers or purchases, depending on how you want to look at
there will be room at the bottom for other companies to grow, and a
good opportunity with leasing and finance companies with strong cash
Expected News from Finova---Their Press Release
FINOVA Capital Corporation Announces Net Loss for 2000 (Subject to
Updated 8:03 AM ET April 2, 2001
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- FINOVA Capital Corporation
("FINOVA Capital"), the principal operating subsidiary of The FINOVA
Inc. ("FINOVA") today announced a net loss of $936.0 million for the
ended Dec. 31, 2000, compared to net income of $219.0 million in 1999.
results included a net loss from continuing operations of $542.9
2000 compared to net income of $222.0 million in 1999, and a net loss
discontinued operations in 2000 of $393.1 million compared to a net
$3.0 million in 1999. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2000, FINOVA
announced a net loss of $718.2 million compared to net income of $57.6
million in the fourth quarter of 1999. The net loss for the fourth
of 2000 from continuing operations was $578.0 million compared to net
of $59.6 million in the fourth quarter of 1999, and the net loss from
discontinued operations for the fourth quarter of 2000 was $140.1
compared to a net loss of $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.
2000, FINOVA Capital experienced a significant deterioration in the
quality of its portfolio caused in part by a softening U.S. economy and
certain industry specific economic weaknesses affecting many of its
customers in those industries. Additionally, with the loss of its
grade credit ratings and limited access to capital, FINOVA Capital's
funds increased significantly during the course of the year. The impact
these events and current economic conditions resulted in increased
problem accounts and higher cost of funds (resulting in lower interest
margins), higher reserve requirements, higher write-offs, losses on
investments and disposal of assets, impairment of intangible assets,
tax benefits and the decision to exit certain businesses. Other Matters
Feb. 26, 2001, FINOVA and FINOVA Capital entered into a commitment with
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Leucadia National Corporation and Berkadia,
entity jointly owned by Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia pursuant to
Berkadia would lend $6 billion on a senior secured basis to FINOVA
to facilitate a Chapter 11 restructuring of its outstanding debt. On
2001, FINOVA, FINOVA Capital and seven of their subsidiaries filed for
protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. On
first day of these proceedings, the bankruptcy court granted various
authorizing FINOVA Capital to continue operating in the ordinary course
business, including funding commitments to its customers. As of the
date, FINOVA Capital had over $1 billion of cash on hand. Due to delays
caused by the bankruptcy process and other events, FINOVA Capital has
for an automatic 15-day extension to file its annual report on Form
with the Securities and Exchange Commission. FINOVA Capital expects to
the 10-K on or before Apr. 16, 2001. FINOVA Capital Corporation is a
financial services company focused on providing a broad range of
solutions primarily to midsize business. FINOVA Capital is
Scottsdale, Ariz. with business offices throughout the U.S. and in
U.K., and Toronto, Canada. For more information, visit the company's
GE Capital Agrees to Buy Franchise Finance
By Matt Murray, Wall Street Journal
General Electric's finance arm agreed to buy Franchise Finance Corp. of
America for about $1.4 billion, and to assume about $700 million in
a move that expands the reach of GE's large finance operation among
franchisers such as chain restaurants and convenience stores.
Clients of Franchise Finance, a real-estate investment trust in
AZ, include franchisees of such restaurant chains as Applebee's,
Burger King and Cracker Barrel, as well as auto companies such as Midas
Muffler Shops and Checkers Auto Parts and convenience stores such as
K. The company said as of Dec. 31 it had a combined
portfolio of more than 6,200 properties throughout the U.S. and Canada.
GE Capital, the world's largest non-bank finance operation, said the
acquisition, among its largest recent purchases, represents its greater
interest in the growing market of financing mortgages and other loans
franchisers. Franchise Finance, meanwhile, said the sale would enable
offer more services and products to customers.
Through its commercial equipment-financing business, GE Capital agreed
pay shareholders of Franchise Finance $25 for each share outstanding.
4 p.m. Friday (3/30/01) in New York Stock Exchange composite trading,
Franchise Finance shares gained $1.20, or 5.1%, to $24.92, while GE
rose 46 cents to $41.86 each.
Franchise Finance will retain its name once the transaction closes, but
be identified as a division of GE Capital Financing. The purchase has
approved by boards of both companies, but still requires Commercial
Equipment approval of Franchise Finance shareholders.
GE Capital's commercial equipment-financing business currently provides
financing for a wide range of equipment for companies. It is one of
than two dozen businesses in GE Capital, of Stamford, CT.