April 27, 2001

 

 

 Headlines----

 

      A.J. Batt: Richest Man in Leasing Retires

 

         Amplicon Reports Net Earnings Loss Compared to Previous 3rd Quarter

            "...over the past few weeks, the company has undertaken a series of

             steps to improve the productivity of the sales organization and bring

             overhead expenses more in line with the current level of lease originations,"

                 says Chairman  Patrick E. Paddon

 

       LeaseLoan Introduces Affiliate Resource Center

         PinnFund Asset Freeze Is Extended

          Panel: More Jail for Finance Crime            

             U.S.Capital/Ken Nelson Redux

               GATX Bad Week

 

 

Monday--Lease Equipment Salesmen Commission Survey

 

 

_________________________________________________

 

 

 

  A.J. Batt:  Richest Man in Leasing Retires

 

" Something happened to the ethics in leasing in the last six or eight months, " A.J.Batt

said. "There was a change in the wind, in the direction, and it wasn't very good."

 

At age 65, Batt announced his retirement as "owner" of the world largest privately-held

independent equipment leasing company, Atel Capital Group, San Francisco. It will not happen

again.  The portfolio they own and manager is allegedly $1.8 billion.  The annual volume has

been from $200 million to $300 million in smaller leases, not counting the larger ticket items. He remains a shareholder, owner of Cyberlease and his real estate holdings, which is being managed by his daughter Rochelle, but has sold his other eight companies.

 

" I now have time to take my 91 year old mother to dinner, " he said.  " I don't feel guilty

visiting her during the day, or spending more time with her.  I've been a workaholic...Don't get me wrong, it has not been work for me.  It's like people who

play tennis or golf, it's fun. There was no pressure. There was only fun. I loved it. "

 

Batt started at GATX in 1973 doing tax deals and larger transactions.  He formed ATEL

in July, 1977, also doing tax deals and larger transactions, but says he saw the writing

on the wall.

 

" We were selling off to the banks, but I could see the changes coming, especially

in tax reform, so in 1983 we began work on securitization of leases, and when the

1985 tax reform came around, we were well placed as all the tax shelter for investors

was gone in operating leases, but we were ready with equity in the deals."

 

Batt says his goal was simple: Stay in the mainstream of quality credit. 

 

"Get the best lessees on line," he said. " And my second, third, and fourth

goals were diversification, diversification, diversification...meaning location, manufacturing,

type of business, just like in real estate it is location-location-location,

to me in leasing, it was diversification, diversification, diversification...and fifth, choose

equipment that had low obsolescence."

 

Batt was always ahead of the game, and in 1991 started Cyberlease.  He had it up

and running in 1992.

 

"By 1999, we had run $500 million in leases through Cyberlease, " he said. " We had

the lease analysis model going great, and we were having a lot of fun. I will still stay

active with this product as we develop it further and take it even farther."

 

What changes had he seen since he started leasing?

 

" Well, the lessee is a lot smarter, much more knowledgeable, " he answered. " Some

even know how to work the calculator better than the lease salesman. They're not innocent any

more."

 

He also noted that margins have shrunk quite a bit.

 

" If you are getting double-digit yields, you are taking a lot higher risk than you

should," he commented.

 

Right now his health is excellent. He will come in around ten am or later for the next

five to six months, see what the "new owners" want him to do, as he has stepped

down as president, chairman, and CEO.

 

The management* that has helped the company grow stays in place. Dean Cash  is now the president and CEO for ATEL Capital Group. Pari Choksi, ATEL's CFO, will take on the additional

responsibilities of COO and executive vice president.

 

"I am looking forward to continuing our current strong lines of business and pursuing new

opportunities that will grow ATEL and keep us on the leading edge of innovation in the financial services and asset management businesses," was Cash's statement to the press.

 

" I really like walking down the aisles here now " Batt explained. " We have three floors,

and I get a kick out of seeing the talented, great people we have here and how they make

this company work.  In a few more months, they won't even know I am gone. "

 

Whether his former employees miss him or not is up to the "new" management, but Leasing News can guarantee you we will not see another successful leasing entrepreneur, innovator, hard worker,

and straight shooter like A.J.Batt again.  He was one of a kind.

 

*

 

                            TITLE                         EMAIL

Dean Cash            President & CEO, ATEL Capital Group            dcash@atel.com

Pari Choksi            EVP, COO & CFO, ATEL Capital Group            pchoksi@atel.com

David Ford            EVP, ATEL Securities Corp.                  dford@atel.com

Tom Sbordone            SVP of ATEL Leasing Corporation             tsbordone@atel.com

Vasco Morais            SVP and General Council                     vmorais@atel.com

Steve Rea            VP, ATEL Ventures, Inc.                     srea@atel.com

 

 

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No-I bet you thought Batt was not the richest man in leasing.  He is. There is no

one even close to his cash or net worth in the leasing industry. And it is not Thomas Depping,

although the day before he officially resigned, he sold  some of his stock

27-Mar-01 DEPPING, THOMAS J

Chairman of the Board, President, Director, Chief Executive Officer 1,673,200

 BTOB Disposed via Share Tender (Change of Control) at $5.68/Share.

Value of $9,503,776.

 

FYI--

23-Apr-00 DEPPING, THOMAS J

Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer 1,595,800

 BTOB Acquired

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The clock is ticking but there is still time to register for the UAEL

Spring Education Conference in Scottsdale, AZ May 3-6.

 

This is a "Not to be missed conference" filled with education and

networking opportunities.  And don't forget INVOLVEMENT!!!  On Saturday

from 11:30am - 12:00noon learn how

UAEL works for you through Networking, Education and Involvement.  After

all, this is YOUR association.  Immediately following this general session

will be the UAEL Recognition

Luncheon where your fellow members will be receiving awards for their

excellence and participation over the past year.

 

And don't forget the Commerce Corral!  Stop by each booth on Friday and

Saturday to visit with Service Providers that can help you and your

company.  See them all.....and you will

have a chance to win some cold hard cash!!!

 

If you haven't already registered now is the time to do so at www.uael.org.

 

See you in Scottsdale and don't forget your Western Wear and Cowboy hat for

Saturday night!

Joanie Dalton - Managing Director

UAEL - United Association of Equipment Leasing

520 Third Street, #201

Oakland, CA  94607

(510) 444-9235 x27 * Fax (510) 444-1346

joanie@uael.org * www.uael.org

 

 

___________________________________________________

 

 We encourage you to send to a colleague.  This includes not only upper management, but

all employees, as we write for the entire leasing industry.  Our readers are insiders

who want to succeed, their company to succeed, and to up-grade the professionalism

of our industry. Most of our news and leads come from our readers.

___________________________________________________

 

 

         $300 Million Securities Fraud/PinnFund Asset Freeze Is Extended

 

                   Fanghella Still on the Run

 

 

By Mike Freeman, San Diego Tribune-Union

 

 

With a half-dozen angry investors looking on, a federal judge yesterday extended an asset freeze against James L. Hillman, a central figure in the alleged $300 million civil securities fraud

case involving Carlsbad's PinnFund USA.

 

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff issued a preliminary injunction against Hillman, an Oakland

resident, attorney, tax advisor, that froze his assets, other than for legal fees and basic

living expenses.

 

In issuing the injunction, Huff sided for now with the federal Securities and Exchange

Commission's version of events and rejected Hillman's contention that he is a victim just like

the investors -- all allegedly duped by PinnFund chief executive Michael J. Fanghella.

 

Fanghella, 49, remains a fugitive. Rumors had swirled this week that he would show up in court

yesterday, but he did not appear.

 

Regulators say Fanghella's PinnFund credit card was used twice on March 22, the day after the

SEC filed its civil litigation. Purchases included a room at a Holiday Inn near Los Angeles

International Airport and a $1,100 ticket on American Airlines. On March 23, the card was used

again to pay for currency conversion fees in Barbados, authorities said.

 

The SEC claimed yesterday that Hillman, at the very least, ignored warning signs of fraud while

continuing to collect hefty fees for having raised millions from investors.

Those millions are apparently gone. Of the more than $300 million raised by Hillman --

purportedly to fund PinnFund mortgage loans and leases -- $1.5 million remains, according to the

 

 

 

 

 

SEC.

 

"This was not a small amount of money," said Huff. "This was $300 million. This is more than

some public companies might raise."

 

In litigation filed March 21, the SEC accused Fanghella, Hillman and the companies they control

of several violations of securities laws. Regulators contend Fanghella spent more than $100

million of investor funds on lavish homes, dinners and gifts, such as a $5 million home in

Laguna Niguel for his former girlfriend.

 

Fanghella also allegedly spent $95 million in investor funds to cover operating losses at

PinnFund -- all while he and Hillman were telling investors that the company was profitable, the SEC claims.

 

And, the SEC contends, Fanghella used new investor money flowing into PinnFund to pay the

promised 17 percent interest rate to all the investors.

 

Meanwhile, investors are reeling from losses that, for some, reach into the millions. One

investor said the gut-wrenching toll of the experience made him feel akin to being physically

assaulted.

 

Tom Zacarro, lead lawyer for the SEC, told the court that, while Hillman claimed he too was a

victim, "we have real victims in the courtroom now -- people of retirement age, some of whom

lost their life savings."

 

Hillman's lawyers said that Fanghella and perhaps others at PinnFund went to great lengths to

conceal the truth from Hillman.

 

Those steps included providing false financial statements and setting up fax machines at

PinnFund locations, then claiming they were the fax numbers for finance companies that held

investor funds, said Hillman attorney Tom Brown. By doing this, Brown said, Fanghella was able

to fool Hillman's auditors who were faxing letters confirming that investor funds were being

used properly.

 

But the SEC said Hillman received warning signs that something was wrong at PinnFund dating to

July 1999. He not only ignored them, the regulators contend, but continued to raise $208

million.

 

The SEC also claims that Hillman began pulling his own money out of PinnFund after November,

when the company began missing interest payments. In all, the SEC says Hillman withdrew $8.7

million from November until PinnFund's demise on March 21.

Hillman and his family still had more than $2 million invested, according to records, and he

continued to raise funds -- including $1.5 million the day before the SEC filed its litigation.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Beware any e-mail from: cbdwallader@ev1.net:

 

 subject: of offer human

 with this message:  of our offer

 

The attachment has a modern, dangerous virus.  It may be making the leasing circuit,

as we recently have received it, along with some other virus e-mail, as if we are

being targeted.  Maybe we are, maybe not, but if you should get this e-mail,

beware.

 

__________________________________________________

 

          Panel: More Jail for Finance Crime

 

                       By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judicial panel is recommending longer prison terms for people

convicted of fraud,including keeping advance rentals, double funding of leases, criminal

financial misrepresentation, insider trading, tax evasion and other white-collar crimes.

 

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, a nine-member independent panel comprised mainly of federal

judges, is sending the proposals to Congress on May 1. They will take effect Nov. 1 unless

lawmakers adopt legislation rejecting them, a rare occurrence.

 

The panel's sentencing guidelines for all federal crimes, which are revised each year, are used

by judges to determine sentences.

 

The commission focused closely on financial crime this year in response to concerns raised by

federal judges, prosecutors and probation officers, the panel said in a news release. Its

recommendations are the most sweeping in that area since the guidelines were established in

1987, commission officials said.

 

Because some 20 percent of all convicted federal defendants now are involved in financial

crimes, "It was especially important that we address this area," said Judge Diana E. Murphy of

the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who heads the commission.

 

But Edward Mallett, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said

Thursday the commission unwisely adopted recommendations that had been pushed by the Justice

Department.

 

The recommendations "take away the right of a judge to consider the rights of the individual who

 

 

 

 

 

is being punished as well as the offense," he said in a telephone interview from Houston.

Under the recommendations, the sentencing panel is proposing that individuals convicted of

insider trading, fraud or tax evasion exceeding $1 million face up to 5 1/4 years in prison. For

 

 

 

 

 

fraud and insider trading, that is a 70 percent increase from the current maximum of about three

 

 

 

 

 

years; for tax evasion, it is up 37 percent from around four years.

 

Under the new guidelines, for example, an individual convicted of perpetrating a $500,000

investment fraud would face up to 5 1/4 years in prison, compared with sentences as low as 2 1/4

 

 

 

 

 

years currently.

 

An official of a group that represents state securities regulators hailed the recommendations.

"Amen," exclaimed Marc Beauchamp, executive director of the North American Securities

Administrators Association. He said there is "something terribly wrong" in a system that can

imprison someone for stealing a small amount of money from a convenience store while "someone

who steals your parents' life savings often doesn't do any jail time."

 

Officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been battling an increase in

investment fraud and insider trading in recent years, weren't immediately available for comment.

The SEC acknowledged earlier this month that the volatility of the stock market these days

brings new opportunities for defrauding investors, and that new types of securities and

technologies have created new avenues for fraud and abuse. At the same time, however, President

Bush's budget proposes staff reductions in fraud investigations and enforcement.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

         U.S.Capital, Santa Barbara, California/Ken Nelson

 

Just in case you are beating yourself up over it, I would hope that all of

us, your readers, understand what the gentleman from Balboa said, and that

that which you printed was strictly relative to Mr. Nelson's operations in

the leasing arena. In reading the article I had no question that he had

loved ones and friends. You are not running your newsletter to address

this side of things; you are running a newsletter in direct relation to

the leasing industry. Just as Balboa does not have a good reputation among

fellow brokers that I know, I am sure that Mr. Sellman can be a warm,

friendly and honest individual. I grieve for his loss, and for the loss

that all of Mr. Nelson's friends have suffered. This is not the forum for

the grief, however. This is for the notification of that which transpires

in our industry, an industry way too full of opportunities that lure

opportunists to cross over to unethical acts. I read your column to be

warned of these people, in a tight economy I need every edge I can get.

 

Best Regards,

Bruce E. McCormick

 

McCormick & Associates, Inc.

248.258.6820(v)

248.258.6823(f)

 mailto:bem@mccormick-associates.com]

 www.mccormick-associates.com

 www.municipalfunding.net 

 

        +               +                   +

 

Mr. Sellman

 

I'm sure that Ken Nelson had his good points.  However, he did in fact fail

to fund a transaction for a company I was affiliated with and failed to

refund the lessees advance rental funds.  Since the transaction also

involved a titled vehicle someone else, unknown, ended up with title to the

equipment.  I know for a fact that a good deal of time and money has been

spent in an effort to straighten that deal out.  This in addition to the

lost advances the customer found it necessary to pay the vendor in full for

the equipment in order to salvage a good business relationship.

 

Mr. Nelson also failed to return numerous, perhaps as many as

two dozen telephone calls, plus the two that were returned</font>&nbsp;<font size=2>he

delivered false information concerning dates when funding would occur on

a transaction.

 

Perhaps you were fortunate in not having to deal with this kind of problem.

Regardless of all the good things you say about Mr. Nelson the fact remains

he acted in a very unprofessional manner and as far as I am concerned

absconded with funds that did not belong to him.  Sorry, I have a very

different view of this person.

 

Jerry Withrow

jerryw@wizard.com

 

            +                      +                       +

 

It is obvious that Rick Sellman is grieving over the loss of his friend, Ken Nelson. 

 

Perhaps when the pain of his personal loss loses its edge, he will reconsider his rant against

you.  I believe that his failure to post anything exculpatory indicates that he has a fair

amount of confusion about the accusations against Mr. Nelson.

 

I wish him peace -- and insight into his anger.

 

Barry Reitman

KEYSTONE EQUIPMENT LEASING, INC.

baldguy@keystoneleasing.com

 

 

 +                    +                      +

 

I knew a Ken Nelson several years ago.  He was a good looking young man,

maybe 25 years old, when in about 1985 he interviewed with me, in Walnut

Creek, for a sales position I had open with Dana Commercial Credit.  He

had only been in leasing for about a year or so.  He had an extremely

high opinion of himself, and very high aspirations. He was not what I

was looking for, however.

Just a few years later we spoke, and he had set up shop in the Danville

area, and was doing some "super-brokering".  He definitely enjoyed life

in the fast lane. He would drive a Corvette.

There were other rumors about life in the fast lane.  Reminds me very

much of the actor Robert Downey, who had so much going for him.

 

Doug Dawkins

dawkindr@postoffice.pacbell.net

 

                +                    +                +

 

 

 

            

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GATX profits fall, Has a Rough Week.

 

 

Leasing and financial services provider GATX Corp. early this week  said first-quarter operating profits fell as increasing economic weakness dragged on its businesses, and warned it will miss

2001 earnings targets.

The Chicago-based company, whose businesses include the leasing of railroad cars and aircraft,

said income totaled $31.6 million or 63 cents per fully diluted share, excluding the net gain

from the sale of GATX Terminals and nonrecurring charges. A year ago, it earned $40.6 million or 82 cents a share.

Analysts expected GATX to post earnings in a range of 55 to 94 cents per share, with a consensus of 78 cents per share, according to four analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Net income in the period totaled $170.7 million, or $3.45 per fully diluted share, including

$159.3 million of after-tax gains recognized to date on the sale of GATX Terminals Corp.'s

domestic and European operations, and other items. The company's other businesses include

venture finance and information technology leasing.

Looking ahead, GATX said in a statement that as a result of the "increased loss provision and

general economic weakness, we currently estimate that GATX Capital's net income will not meet

2000 levels." In 2000, GATX reported consolidated income, excluding a litigation reserve, of

$3.37 per share. On Tuesday, GATX stock fell $2.21 to $37.32 a share -- not far above its

52-week low of $33.13 -- on the New York Stock Exchange. It is doing a little better,

but not like the old days.

 http://yahoo.marketguide.com/mgi/chart.asp?rt=chart&rn=3625N

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#############################################

LeaseLoan Introduces Affiliate Resource Center; New Program with Web-Based Platform Generates

and Manages Quotes, Credit Approvals and Document Transactions

 

 

TRUCKEE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2001--LeaseLoan, a commercial lending marketplace

that provides technology-based financing for small to medium-sized businesses, today announced

its new Affiliate Resource Center. Dubbed "ARC," the program was built specifically for

LeaseLoan affiliates to enable efficiencies in managing customer relationships and provide all

the tools needed to sell and close deals.

 

"The standards for customer expectations are being raised by new technology applied to the old

problem of how to make small ticket leasing faster and easier," said Bill Booker, LeaseLoan's

vice president of business development. "We will work with affiliates to close and service the

increasing number of vendors who demand technology solutions."

 

"LeaseLoan's ARC program has helped us broaden product offerings and deliver additional products to address the new demands of specific vendors," said Scott Clark, CEO of Americap. "Now instead of spending hours pushing paper, we can focus on business development and LeaseLoan handles the

processes. We can place more deals and earn fee income on every transaction."

 

Unlike many technology offerings, LeaseLoan is free and fast. LeaseLoan maintains all funding

relationships, and handles all credit and documentation on behalf of affiliates at no cost.

 

The company works with affiliates to craft a personalized program that makes sense for the way

they do business. In addition to the web-based platform available 24/7 for managing accounts,

LeaseLoan has a team of experienced business development directors, implementation managers,

vendor and transaction support representatives, credit and funding departments and software

engineers to service each affiliate and vendor as they need it.

 

The LeaseLoan ARC solution includes:

 

--  Managed user accounts -- Individual accounts allow for central

reporting and sales management

 

--  Quoting tools -- Create, send, track quotes online saving time

in this critical step of the process

 

--  Applications -- Send and track all applications sent out on

potential deals

 

--  Transaction task list -- Control the process. Merge quotes

with application information to score deals

 

--  Transaction Status tracking -- Know 24/7 what is going on with

transactions sorted by end user and vendor relationships

 

--  Real Time Capital Network -- Receive faster turn around and

higher approval ratios by accessing LeaseLoan's network of

integrated lenders; Lender filters compare the lessee's

financial and transaction data to each of the RTCNs' member's

specific buying preferences efficiently matching and

decisioning transactions

 

--  "My Vendors" section -- Manage and add new vendors to the

network quickly and easily

 

--  Sales tools -- Easily access collateral and training material

required to sell the LeaseLoan products and close new business

 

About LeaseLoan

 

LeaseLoan is an online provider of real-time commercial financing for small to medium-sized

businesses. LeaseLoan creates efficiencies in financing for all business owners, vendors, and

lenders: business owners get free, fast credit decisions and online documentation with a wide

credit window; vendors get point of sale closing capabilities with a wide credit window enabling greater sales, and lenders get to purchase closed transactions that make sense for their

portfolio while at the same time reducing processing costs. LeaseLoan manages the transaction

from start to finish, guiding the customer through the process avoiding an awkward customer pass from one institution to the next. In addition to assisting with capital, LeaseLoan assists new

businesses with educational and product fulfillment services that promote long-term growth. For

more information call 800/600-4396 or visit www.LeaseLoan.com.

 

CONTACT: 

 

LeaseLoan

 

TJ Kelly, 530/550-7008 

 

TJ-Kelly@leaseloan.com

###############################################

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 "...over the past few weeks, the company has undertaken a series of steps to improve the

productivity of the sales organization and bring overhead expenses more in line with the current level of lease originations," says Chairman  Patrick E. Paddon

 

  Press Release states: "Based in Orange County, Calif., Amplicon leases high-technology capital assets nationwide utilizing an innovative sales management organization that delivers cost

effective leasing alternatives to meet customer needs."

 

###############################################

 

Amplicon Reports Lower Third Quarter EPS of $0.36

 

 

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2001--Amplicon Inc. (Nasdaq:AMPI) today reported

that net earnings for the third quarter ended March 31, 2001 decreased 23% to $4.1 million,

compared with $5.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2000.

 

Diluted earnings per share decreased 20% to $0.36 compared with $0.45, benefiting from a lower

number of common shares outstanding. For the nine months ending March 31, 2001, net earnings

decreased 22% to $11.7 million, compared with $14.9 million for the first nine months of the

prior fiscal year. Diluted earnings per share for the first nine months of fiscal 2001 were

$1.02, down 18% from $1.25 reported for the first nine months of the prior year, also reflecting

a lower number of common shares outstanding.

 

Total revenues for the third quarter ended March 31, 2001 decreased 17% to $16.5 million,

compared with $19.9 million for the third quarter a year ago. The decreased revenues reflect

lower revenues from sales of leased property and sales type leases, as well as lower interest

income from cash and short-term investments, offset by higher revenues from direct financing

leases. Gross profit of $11.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2001 decreased $900,000,

or 7% from the prior year, reflecting lower income recognized from the sale or re-lease of

leased property, lower income from new lease transactions, and lower interest income from cash

and short-term investments, offset by higher interest income earned on the company's lease

portfolio. The lower income earned from new lease transactions during the third quarter reflects the continued impact of deferring income on certain transactions as a result of the company

retaining a significantly greater percentage of new lease transactions in its own lease

portfolio.

 

Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2001 decreased 12% to $48.0 million from $54.7

million for the comparable prior year period. The decrease in revenues primarily reflects lower

lease revenues from sales type and direct financing leases. Gross profit for the first nine

months ended March 31, 2001 decreased 10% to $33.3 million, compared with $36.9 million for the

nine months ending March 31, 2000. The lower gross profit was primarily due to lower income

recognized from new lease transactions, but also reflected lower income from the re-lease of

leased property. These declines were offset by a smaller provision for credit losses. The lower

income earned from new lease transactions during the first nine months of fiscal 2001 again

reflects the increased deferral of income as the company retained a significantly greater

percentage of new lease transactions in its own lease portfolio during the period. While the

income recognized from transactions booked during the first nine months of fiscal 2001 was down

by $2.7 million, when compared with the first nine months of the prior year, the income deferred during this period was $4.3 million greater than during the prior year period.

 

During the third quarter, Amplicon's selling, general and administrative ("S,G&A") expenses

increased by $1.1 million, or 27% to $5.2 million, when compared with the third quarter of

fiscal 2000. For the first nine months, S,G&A expenses increased by 14% from the prior year.

This increase in S,G&A expenses for both periods is primarily the result of higher salary and

benefit expenses related to growth in the size of the sales organization, but for the third

quarter of fiscal 2001, also reflects the impact of one-time accruals related to legal and

personnel matters.

 

Commenting on the results, Patrick E. Paddon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,

indicated that: "While Amplicon's third quarter and nine month results reflect, in part, the

impact of deferring a greater portion of our income on new leases to later periods, as the

company consciously decided to hold more leases in its own portfolio, they also are impacted by

a lower volume of new lease originations than we expected." 

 

He continued: "While lease originations during the first nine months are commensurate with the

prior year, they do not reflect the investment the company has made in an expanded sales

organization. As a result, over the past few weeks, the company has undertaken a series of steps to improve the productivity of the sales organization and bring overhead expenses more in line

with the current level of lease originations. The impact of these actions should help fourth

quarter results, and we estimate will result in a 10% reduction in S,G&A expenses going

forward."

 

Paddon went on to state: "As previously advised, the company applied to the Board of Governors

of the Federal Reserve Board (the `FRB') to become a bank holding company through the

acquisition of 100% of the stock of a newly organized national bank (`Bank'), and to retain

certain nonbanking businesses and thereby engage in certain nonbanking activities. On April 23,

2001, the FRB approved Amplicon's proposal to become a bank holding company. The Office of the

Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") has provided the Bank with a revised preliminary conditional approval, which approval is subject to certain regulatory requirements and conditions. The Bank

is in the process of taking the steps necessary for satisfying these conditions, but may not

begin the business of banking until final approval has been granted. The Bank currently expects

that final approval will be obtained within the next 30 to 60 days. Once final approval is

obtained, in connection with the purchase of the stock of the bank, it is anticipated that the

company will take steps to reorganize itself into a bank holding company structure."

 

Paddon also reported that: "The Board of Directors approved at a Board meeting yesterday a stock repurchase program for up to 1 million shares, which is approximately 9 percent of the fully

diluted shares outstanding. The stock repurchases may be made from time to time in the open

market or in negotiated transactions at management's discretion. At March 31, 2001, the book

value per share of common stock is $15.66 per share, while the closing price yesterday was

$5.75. Since Amplicon currently has over $60 million of cash and investments, we believe the

purchase of our own stock is one of the best investments Amplicon can make at this time."

 

Based in Orange County, Calif., Amplicon leases high-technology capital assets nationwide

utilizing an innovative sales management organization that delivers cost effective leasing

alternatives to meet customer needs.

 

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