Kit Menkin’s Leasing News

                www.leasingnews.org  Monday, August 19, 2002

Accurate, fair and unbiased news for the equipment Leasing Industry

( posted daily at www.leasingnews.org and sent “free” by e-mail by subscription

only (no Spam) with “the Day in American History “ signature .)

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E-Mail Removal Form:  http://65.209.205.32/LeasingNews/removalform.asp

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Headlines----

Saddleback Financial Rides Off into the Sunset?

  The Credit Store Files Chapter 11

    CORRECTION: H-P Financial Story

      The Week's Economic Events

       Nasdaq Calls It Quits on Asia

        Leasing in Brazil

         "the economic crisis in Brazil will surpass"

            Monday-Odds and Ends

  September 12 and 13th Sales Tax Simplification Meeting

   Sales Tax on Document Fees and Discounting Leases

    UAEL-LA Region: Sales and Use Tax Issue Meeting

       Broker Protection---New Series

        September 11 Anniversary---Bob Kieve

          MB Financial Completes $52M Preferred Securities

            San Jose SaberCats dominate Rattlers, win championship

 

### Denotes Press Release

 

 

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Saddleback Financial Rides Off into the Sunset?

 

“Precom / Saddleback - is dead.  They fired every one yesterday...

Don't take my word.  Call and check for your self.”

               

anonymous

 

Leasing News was not able to reach the operator, or Phil Worden, or any other contacts

we had there.

 

Saddleback Financial Corporation
625 The City Drive, Suite 140
Orange, CA 92668
Contact: Robert M. Fode 714-938-9500
or fax @ 714-938-9510

 

Here is a complaint listed on the Leasing News Bulletin Board that the company was not paying salesmen:

 

http://www.leasingnews.org/bulletin_board.htm#saddleback

 

 

 

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The Credit Store Files Chapter 11

 

The Credit Store, Inc. announced that, in order to facilitate the completion

of its restructuring initiatives, the Company filed a voluntary petition for

reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code with the U.S.

Bankruptcy Court in Pierre, South Dakota.

 

The Company is negotiating a sale of its assets and expects, subject to overbids in Court, to conclude a sale, recapitalization, or merger in the next 30-45 days. The Company has retained J. Richard Budd, of Marotta Gund Budd & Dzera, Management, LLC, as corporate restructuring officer to assist the Company in its reorganization, and the law firm of Neligan Stricklin, L.L.P. as special counsel, both subject to Court approval.

 

 

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CORRECTION: H-P Financial Story

 

Thanks for all you do for the industry.  I just read this mornings Leasing

News and I hate to be self-serving but I noticed that you had our phone

number wrong on the top part of the news letter.  The correct # is

800-945-3372.

 

 The HP program has been great for all who have used it.  We

are excited that they have allowed BSB to participate in the program.  I

know we even did a deal for American Leasing thru HP.

 

 Thanks again and look forward to talking to you soon.

 

Bruce Zwillinger

Executive VP

BSB Leasing

800-945-3372 ext. 306

bzwillinger@bsbleasing.com

 

( Sorry, I went back and the telephone number was in their twice, once correct, and once not.  Also to reiterate, H-P Financial is not considering any new brokers, whatsoever!!!  They have their dealers and “in house” sales, and if you are a broker, and want to deal with them, you need to go through someone who is already set-up with them, such as BSB Leasing---again, we used them as an example as they sent us a flyer.

 

The rebate in equipment leasing to combat Dell, among others, to promote

technology equipment and to allow leasing brokers lessees to participate is newsworthy. editor ) . 

 

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The Week's Economic Events

 

August 19 MONDAY

 

Leading Indicators: July

 

August 20 TUESDAY

 

Balance of Trade: June

 

Federal Budget: July

 

Sales and Use Tax

Issues in Equipment Leasing

Los Angeles, CA.  UAEL

http://www.leasingnews.org/docs/LARegionalTaxEvent.htm

 

August 21 WEDNESDAY

 

None

 

August 22 THURSDAY

 

Weekly Jobless Claims

 

August 23 FRIDAY

 

None

 

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Nasdaq Calls It Quits on Asia

 

By HANS GREIMEL

The Associated Press

 

TOKYO (AP) - Citing bad market conditions, the U.S.-based Nasdaq Stock Market called an end to expansion in Asia on Monday and said it will refocus on Europe.

 

The announcement comes three days after the company decided to pull out of its Nasdaq Japan joint venture. John Hilley, chief executive of Nasdaq International, Inc., said Monday that Nasdaq was now planning no other ventures in the region.

 

``At this point, we are not considering any other options in Asia,'' Hilley said. ``If there is a culprit, that was due overwhelmingly to economic and market conditions. There is not a viable economic venture going forward.''

 

Tokyo Internet firm Softbank Corp. and Nasdaq each owned 43 percent in Nasdaq Japan, which was based in the western metropolis of Osaka.

 

Nasdaq will now focus on its European operations, Hilley said.

 

Key to that plan is a new electronic stock exchange in Germany that will compete with the country's dominant exchange, the Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse.

 

The new exchange, called Nasdaq Deutschland, will begin trading in January, and the company said it planned for 3,000 stocks to be traded eventually.

 

``There will be our focus in terms of international strategy,'' Hilley said.

 

The shift underlines how startup companies in Japan have failed to fire investor interest as Japan wallows in a decade-long economic slowdown. Nasdaq Japan managed to attract only 98 companies.

 

Among them were Starbucks Coffee's Japan unit and Tokyo software vendor Digicube Co., but their performance was also disappointing.

 

Hilley said restrictive Japanese trading rules crimped business by preventing Nasdaq Japan from more freely trading international shares.

 

He also blamed the unwillingness of Japanese brokerages to adopt an upgraded computer system that would link Nasdaq's Japanese listings with the Nasdaq's U.S. and European markets in 2003. The system is already adopted in Europe.

 

Hilley said Nasdaq would still have a presence in Asia by selling its U.S.-based and European-based shares there, and by soliciting Asian companies to list on its exchanges.

 

Although Nasdaq has not disclosed figures for its Japan losses, its cumulative losses here are estimated at more than 5 billion yen ($43 million), following the tech bubble's burst before it fully blossomed in Japan.

 

Earlier this month, Nasdaq said it was taking a $20 million charge on its losses from its Japan investment.

 

The Osaka Securities Exchange will continue using the Nasdaq brand until the end of the year, but Hilley ruled out leasing the rights to the name beyond that. He said Nasdaq Japan would eventually be dissolved, but did not say when.

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Leasing in Brazil

 

Please find attached the following text from José Augusto Leal containing a

general overview of leasing and rental transactions in Brazil.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paulo Lanari Prado

Castro, Barros, Sobral, Vidigal, Gomes Advogados

Praia de Botafogo 228, 15º andar - Ala B

22359-900 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Tel.: 55 21 2553-1855 R.: 615

Fax: 55 21 2552-1796

e-mail: paulo.prado@cbsvg.com.br

 

http://www.leasingnews.org/docs/LeasingRentalOverview.htm

 

 

Further to my e-mail of August 15, please find attached free translations of Law no. 6099/74 and of CMN Resolution no. 2309/96, which are the main statutory and regulatory provisions ruling leasing transactions in Brazil

 

these are the URL's:

 

http://www.leasingnews.org/docs/Law6099.htm

http://www.leasingnews.org/docs/Resolution2309.htm

 

 

 

 

Brazilian Finance Minister Pedro Malian answers questions during a Banco Central meeting, sayng that the economic crisis in Brazil will surpass. (AFP)

 

By John M. Berry

 

Washington Post Staff Writer

 

 

In an effort to ease Brazil's financial crisis, Brazilian officials plan to meet tomorrow in New York with representatives of major U.S. and foreign banks who are refusing to renew tens of billions of dollars in loans to private Brazilian companies caught up in the situation.

 

At the meeting, arranged by interested U.S. officials, the Brazilians hope to persuade the lenders to roll over existing loans when they come due rather than insist on immediate repayment. The Brazilians want to assure the lenders that they can safely do so by spelling out the stringent actions the Brazilian government is taking to keep the country afloat financially.

 

Foreign lenders and investors have lost confidence in Brazil's economic and financial prospects since an earlier crisis devastated Argentina's economy. Also, the four candidates running for Brazilian president in an October election have not indicated they would follow the policies of the current administration, including its tight fiscal and monetary actions.

 

Brazil has been hit by a "contagion effect" from Argentina, a banking source said. In particular, banks that have suffered large losses in Argentina want to reduce their exposure in Latin America. Thus, many of the banks have been canceling lines of credit in Brazil, a circumstance that was the major factor in arranging tomorrow's meeting. It could not be learned yesterday how much credit had been canceled.

 

Major lenders, such as Citigroup and ABN AMRO of the Netherlands, are expected to attend tomorrow's meeting. The site of the meeting was not specified, but such gatherings have sometimes taken place at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

 

Treasury Department officials said yesterday they were aware of the meeting.

 

In a similar effort that proved successful during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, U.S and foreign bankers were persuaded to roll over loans to South Korean banks and companies. Along with other financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund and other sources, the extension of the loans helped ease that crisis.

 

Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, meanwhile, plans to meet separately today with the four candidates seeking to succeed him. The failure of the candidates to fully endorse the stringent fiscal and monetary policies agreed to by Cardoso, a former finance minister, as condition for receiving $30 billion in aid from the IMF has further eroded international confidence that Brazil's government and many of its major companies would be able to continue to pay their debts.

 

Marcos DePaiva, secretary for international affairs at Brazil's Finance Ministry, said in an interview Friday that many foreign lenders and investors have become more "risk averse" in dealing with Brazil because of Argentina's situation. Lenders and investors now are worried about the upcoming change in government, how Brazilian companies will respond to economic pressures and what are the long-term economic prospects, he said. Brazil's successful proposal to the IMF for assistance was explicitly structured to address the issue of a changing government by providing incentives for the next president to continue the required fiscal policies, DePaiva said.

 

Just $3 billion of the $30 billion in IMF aid is to be distributed soon, he said. Disbursement of $3 billion more would come only after a review in November of Brazil's progress at keeping inflation low and running a "primary budget surplus" equal to 3.75 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product. A primary surplus counts all expenditures except interest payments on government debt.

 

By November there will be a president-elect whose representatives would participate in the review and likely would give promises that the necessary government polices would remain in place, DePaiva said. A key incentive would be the gradual disbursement of the IMF funds only after continued quarterly policy reviews.

 

"If you are trying to change the usual patterns of what happens with a change of government in a Latin American democracy, you need to change the incentives," DePaiva said. "In this case, the new administration would have access to resources in a way that ought to guarantee [good] governance in the first year."

 

"The tradition in Latin America has been very different," he said. "Markets usually see governments spending a lot of money in their last year in office. But in the last three months we have had a 3.88 percent primary surplus" under a law that requires a surplus of at least a 3.75 percent.

 

"On Monday the president will meet separately with each one of the candidates to explain the IMF program and see how they are going to react," DePaiva said. "There has already been a lot of change in the campaign debate about the economy with much deeper analysis now, and there is more understanding of what we have done to ensure the transition. But it is much better to clarify any remaining doubts and answer any specific questions about the program."

 

DePaiva said that the problem involving Brazil's external debt is not the debt owed by the government, but that owed by private firms. "We have already raised the $3.1 billion we need for 2002," he said. "It is the other 60 percent owed by the private sector that's the problem.

 

"Right now, the private companies can't roll over" the debt, he said. "They have to repay, and to do that they have to sell reals [Brazil's currency] for dollars. That drives down our exchange rate, and the government has to provide the dollars. The companies have borrowed externally because we don't have a well-developed capital market and they cannot borrow longer term" in Brazil.

 

Companies generally can borrow only for periods of six months or less in Brazil, said a banker with operations in Brazil.

 

Staff writer Jonathan Weisman contributed to this report.

 

 

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Monday—Odds and Ends

 

“Uproar in the industry.”

 

Keep this between you and me, Kit, I would put my name to it but it would just

cause an uproar in the industry.

 

1. I here HP is discontinuing the HP-17b and 19b calculators

 

I saw the piece on leasing Associations: Here is the long and short of it. I

agree with a lot of what this person had to say. When I was attending these

conferences I always got the feeling that everyone came to these things to

spend more time playing golf or partying than being their to learn and

educate themselves and meet with funding sources, I am not saying no one

should have a good time but it seems the latter is what tends to happen at

these conferences. I would say more but I don't have another half hour to

type.

 

The bottom-line is that theses boards that run the leasing associations

should go to their membership on a regular basis 3-4 times a year and find

out what they want and what they would like to see from their organization.

 

(Again Kit Please withhold my name, as I want to avoid any conflict)

 

----

 

“Likes the Tennessee Titans”

 

    From my game view stand point the TITANS looked good not the Raiders

looking bad.  They were playing in Nashville and that is not a fun place for

visitors.

 

 We are looking to see the TITANS on super bowl Sunday.

Always,

 

John Winchester

jwinchester@comcolease.com

Nashville, TN

-- 

 

“ Doesn’t Get it”

 

Sorry, but I just don't get it.  I make an effort to read leasing news

everyday, and I continue to be puzzled by the inclusion of non-leasing news

in the content.  I can guess that there is precious little leasing news on

some days, and further, that there isn't a great deal of positive news about

the leasing industry most of the time these days.  Nevertheless, why include

news so apparently unrelated to equipment leasing?  Not a criticism, but an

observation and a query.

 

Steve

SCHRIEST@aol.com

 

I have been saying for two and a half years since we formalized this, skip the story

if you don't like it...also read Leasing News on line and you can click on the

stories you want to read and not the ones you don't. If you are not interested...there are readers  in New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, many small towns over the us who do not read major  newspapers, let alone business news. Also

many in large cities are too busy....in addition, we are often a day ahead of what you read. On “inside news”, sometimes months ahead.

 

Perhaps you did not like the story about the South Carolina Utility Confederate flag ban...or that we were two days ahead of all the major newspapers in naming the baseball strike deadline of August 30th...and no other newspaper that I saw had

the internal memo from the president of American Airlines, how he was telling

his employees about the 7000 job cuts, his candid comments and “patriotism” to

his employees, or his chilling comment “We will reassess our flying for the spring and summer months of 2003, but you should know that some flying may not return until we see unmistakable signs of an economic recovery.”

 

The job is to inform and educate and entertain.  You will see stories on wine because I like wine and readers have reacted positively to those stories, and Amtrak, and the housing industry as they are economic guidelines. Sports get the most positive reaction, by the way. 

 

Very few people on the West Coast read the Washington Post, Boston Globe and

many on the East coast don't read the Seattle Times or San Diego Tribune Union.

I look through up to  25 newspaper front pages and business sections daily, plus the wire services and other sites.  When I see a story not covered, or only in one

paper, and there is “room” in Leasing News, it is included or mentioned in

“News Briefs.”

 

I would say all the press release we use are available at the Monitor and

elsewhere, so what makes leasing news different is not only its "inside news"

but its humor and personality.

 

Editor

 

Thanks for the answer, Kit.  I understand now.  I do, by the way, skip what I

don't want to read.  Sometimes, I even read some of that stuff!

 

Steve

 

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September 12 and 13th Sales Tax Simplification Meeting

 

On Monday, August 19, the Federation of Tax Administrators hopes to finalize plans and announce the September meeting of the Sales Tax Simplification Implementing States. Philadelphia on Thursday, September 12 and Friday, the 13th is the objective but could change.

 

 I'm sending this advisory in response to inquiries recognizing the city and dates are always subject to change prior to an official announcement.  

 

Dennis Brown

DBROWN@ELAMAIL.COM

 

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Sales Tax on Document Fees and Discounting Leases

 

“Here is a copy of the California State Board of Equalization form #BOE-401-A2 that we use to report our sale/use tax liabiliity. Items 4, 8 and 10-B in my view provide the necessary exemption from double taxation---of course, you have to hold a valid resale permit which I believe to be available from the State at no cost.

 

Thanks again for your good work.”

 

Bob New

bob@gcs1.com

Bob New, Inc.

 

 (Tomorrow’s “Sales and Use Tax issues in Equipment Leasing” , sponsored by

the United Association of Equipment Leasing, at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles,

should provide many answers to those who attend:  Here is the registration

form.  It is tradition that last minute attendees can show up at the door, but for

a “head count,” it would be a good idea to call and let them know you are coming.

Editor )

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L.A. REGION     United Association of Equipment Leasing

 

SALES AND USE TAX ISSUES IN EQUIPMENT LEASING

 

Sales Tax on Documentation Fees?

 

August 20, 2002

Radisson Hotel - Los Angeles West Side

6161 West Centinela Ave

Culver City, CA 90230

(310) 649-1776

 

Time:            2:00pm - 2:30pm              Registration & Networking

2:30pm - 5:00pm                   Program

 

Speakers:          Sylvia Le, Senior Tax Auditor

                    Eileen Smith, Senior Tax Auditor

                    (Both speakers are from the Board of Equalization)

 

Cost:            UAEL Members          $46.00

                    Non-Members          $56.00

 

Questions?  Contact Tom Mulally or Lisa Murillo (818) 784-8700

 

Registration Form

 

NAME:          ____________________________________________________________

TITLE:          ____________________________________________________________

COMPANY:          ____________________________________________________________

PHONE:            ____________________________________________________________

ADDRESS:          ____________________________________________________________

CITY, STATE ZIP:          ______________________________________________________

 

Check Mark

UAEL Member           $46

Non Member             $56

 

 

PAYMENT:

 

Check Enclosed  ____          Visa/MC ____ Amex ____

 

Credit Card Number ______________________________________ Exp. __________

 

Name on Card __________________________________________________________

 

Signature _______________________________________________________________

 

Return to:  UAEL * 520 Third Street, Suite 201 * Oakland, CA 94607 * Tel: 510-444-9235 * Fax: 510-444-1346

 

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Broker Protection----New Series

John Tobenson
National Broker Division Manager

With all the changes in the leasing industry, including acquisitions, mergers,

purchases of “assets only” or bankrupt porfolio’s, who has the “rights” to

repeat business or the dealer who sold the equipment?  Many companies

spell out this policy, such as the Manifest Group, which issues an “insurance

policy” to its brokers, while others have provisions in their “representation

and warranty agreement,” others have none, and perhaps many are now

unenforceable.

 

Leasing News will publish your “lease broker protection” policy to share

with the rest of the industry.

 

The most definitive one I have seen comes from the defunct IFG Leasing Company, Inter-Regional Financial Group, in a newsletter dated February, 1982, from John Torbenson, national Broker Division Manager, page 2 ( at Leasingnews.org  ”on line version,” you will see his picture as it appeared in “Broker Re-Lease:”)

 

Broker Categories Defined

 

A number of you have been asking what the different categories of brokers are at IFG in case you should find yourself in a non-active status. Below I’ve listed the seven categories of brokers and defined them. I would say that 90 percent of the brokers that we do business with are in an active broker status. However, a broker can fall into other categories.

 

1.       Active Brokers — approved brokers with a complete, cur­rent file, who met volume requirements and who have not been placed in another category. 1FG will accept lease ap­plications and will fund transfers with these brokers.

 

2.       Active Brokers- Incomplete File — brokers whose files are either Incomplete or non-current. Brokers in this category will be so notified and will be given 90 days to complete and/or update their file. IFG will accept and will fund trans­actions of brokers In this temporarily active category. Bro­kers failing to provide a complete file or to bring their file current within 90 days will be placed in the “Non-Current Broker” status.

 

3.          Probation Brokers — brokers from whom IFG will accept applications and will fund transactions for a temporary period of time until some problem is rectified. Typical rea­sons for brokers being placed in this category include:

problems with lease applications (i.e., excessively high vol­ume of rejected or dead applications), problems in daily business relations with IFG, and brokers using a “shotgun” approach to locating funding sources for their deals. Brokers will generally be given 90 days from date of noti­fication to correct the problem cited.

 

Non-Current Brokers — brokers from whom IFG has ac­cepted business in the past but who have not done busi­ness with IFG for an extended period of time and/or brokers who have not maintained a complete, current broker file at IFG. Lease applications will be accepted from these brokers, but broker commissions will not be paid until broker files are completed and/or brought current at IFG.

 

Ineligible Brokers — brokers who do not meet IFG’s credit, volume, or quality of business requirements. IFG will not accept lease applications from these brokers.

 

Newsletter Only Brokers — brokers who have not conduct­ed financial business with IFG, but who are interested in IFG and whom we feel may someday become active brokers.

 

7.          Restricted Brokers — brokers from whom we will not ac­cept any lease applications under any circumstances.

 

Those of you In status #2 will want to finish completing your brok­er file and/or bring It current. As a reminder, a complete file con­tains a bank reference, three additional funding references, a cur­rent business or personal financial statement, and a brief history of your firm. You must be in category #1 to qualify for our Big Bang Bonus Contest. If you are not sure of your current status, be sure to ask either Kim McConville, our Administrative Secretary, or myself.

 

This historic newsletter also goes over IFG Leasing Variable Rate leasing program:

 

“Under each basic rate structure, Floating or Fixed, we differentiate three categories of contracts for rate purpos­es: ITC to IFG, ITC to Lessee, and CSC. Once again, the rates reflect IFG’s differing costs of money.

 

“I should stress that on our Floating Term Lease the pay­ments remain constant throughout the lease life. The only new twist is that the number of payments at the end of the lease may be decreased or increased a little depending on prime rate fluctuations during the term of the lease. It should be quite simple to sell a Floating Term Lease to your client since it reduces the buy rate 125 basis points while allowing the client the benefit of predictable cash flows. In essence, he receives one of the major benefits of Fixed Rate financing at a Floating rate price.”

 

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September 11 Anniversary---Bob Kieve

 

Some folks are going full speed ahead in their plans for September 11.

We’re going much more slowly.

 

Personally,  I’m motivated by the feeling that this anniversary is

nothing to celebrate.  At the most,  I want to acknowledge it and pay

tribute to the people who showed courage on that day.

 

But the last thing I want to do is join in a day of mourning or a day on

which   we commemorate that terrible event by changing our normal

activities.

 

The terrorists succeeded.  They have changed our lives.  They’ve deeply

affected our economy.  They’ve changed the way we travel.  They’ve

caused some of us to distrust our fellow citizens.

 

Should we now,  on the anniversary of their act,  provide further

acknowledgment of the success they’ve achieved by planning a day long

commemoration of the damage that has been done to us,  dramatizing for

the whole world again the pain they have caused us.  It almost seems

that we’re in a competition with each other to see who can most

convincingly wring his hands.

 

I’m not opposed to the plans that New Yorkers are currently putting

together.  It was they who suffered the most;  it’s not my place to pass

judgment on them.  But I don’t want to convert September 11 into some

kind of national holiday,  and  it’s certainly not an anniversary that I

wish to celebrate.

 

This is Robert Kieve, and that’s a personal opinion.  KARA-AM, San Jose

 

 

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

 

MB Financial, Inc. Announces Completion of $52 Million Trust Preferred Securities Offering

 

 

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)----MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI) (the "Company"), the holding company for MB Financial Bank, N.A., Union Bank, N.A. and Abrams Centre National Bank announces the issuance of $52 million of 8.60% Cumulative Trust Preferred Securities (the "Trust Preferred Securities") of MB Financial Capital Trust I with a liquidation value of $25 per security. The securities represent undivided beneficial interests in the trust, which was established by the Company for the purpose of issuing the securities. The Trust Preferred Securities were sold in a publicly underwritten offering and will pay quarterly cumulative cash distributions. The Trust Preferred Securities began trading today on the Nasdaq National Market under the trading symbol "MBFIP."

 

MB Financial Capital Trust I used the proceeds from the sale of the Trust Preferred Securities to purchase junior subordinated debentures of the Company. The Company expects to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including investments in its subsidiaries and financing potential acquisitions.

 

The lead manager for the transaction was Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated. Co-managers were Legg Mason Wood Walker, Incorporated, Howe Barnes Investments, Inc. and Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P.

 

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities law of any such state.

 

 

CONTACT:

 

MB Financial, Inc.

 

Mitchell Feiger, 773/292-6271

 

mfeiger@mbfinancial.com

 

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

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San Jose SaberCats dominate Rattlers, win championship

 

By San Jose Mercury News Wire Services

 

John Dutton passed for 236 yards and five touchdowns as the San Jose SaberCats won their first ArenaBowl, shutting out the Arizona Rattlers in the first three quarters of a 52-14 victory.

 

James Hundon caught three TD passes as the SaberCats capped a 16-1 season with one of the most remarkable achievements in Arena Football League history: 50 shutout minutes of defense in a league where teams routinely score more than 50 points per game.

 

Barry Wagner rushed for a touchdown as the SaberCats emphatically avenged their only defeat of the season -- a 59-52 loss at Arizona last month -- and staked their claim as perhaps the best Arena team ever.

 

With San Jose's powerful offense rolling, the Rattlers trailed 24-0 at halftime and 38-0 after three quarters. Arizona barely avoided the second shutout loss in Arena football's 16-year history when Maurice Bryant broke free for a 30-yard TD pass from Sherdrick Bonner with 9:24 left.

 

Darren Arbet, who has built San Jose into a powerhouse in just four seasons in charge, became the first black coach to win a pro football title with a record-breaking performance by his team, which finished with the best record in Arena history and scored at least 50 points in every game.

 

Dutton, who won his fourth game since stepping in for injured star Mark Grieb, was named the game's MVP with a 20-for-26 performance. After the game, Dutton and Grieb shared a hug as the sellout crowd roared and their teammates celebrated on the confetti-covered field.

 

Dutton threw two TD passes in the first half to Hundon, who spent four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, as the SaberCats dominated on defense, holding Arizona to 63 total yards in the first half.

 

It was the first time in franchise history that Arizona had been held scoreless for an entire half. It was also the first shutout half in the ArenaBowl since the inaugural game 15 years ago, when Denver shut out Pittsburgh for three quarters.

 

San Jose stretched its lead in the third quarter on TD catches by James Roe and Jerry Reese. Meanwhile, the Rattlers were stopped on downs at the SaberCats' 13, and Bo Kelly later fumbled on the 1.

 

Though Arizona scored two late touchdowns, the victory capped a near-perfect season for the SaberCats, who had a roster and a game plan that were clearly a cut above every team except Arizona.

 

The SaberCats' shot at the first undefeated season in Arena ball history ended in Phoenix last month, when the Rattlers beat San Jose and broke the collarbone of Grieb, the AFL's offensive player of the year.

 

But the SaberCats even got a bit of karmic payback for the loss of Grieb when Stacy Evans, the hulking Arizona lineman whose tackle injured Grieb, was knocked out of the championship game in the first quarter with a torn knee ligament.

 

One of American sports' most thriving minor leagues treated the game as a celebration, with mascots and cheerleaders from every club in the festivities. Compaq Center was packed with 16,942 fans.

 

The Arena league, which unveiled a new logo during the weekend, will add the expansion Colorado Crush -- with team president John Elway -- for its 17th season next spring. The league also will expand its television presence, with 71 games on NBC.

 

The victory gave San Jose a hat trick of second-tier pro sports championships. Last fall, the San Jose Earthquakes won their first Major League Soccer title, and the Bay Area (now San Jose) CyberRays won the first championship in WUSA women's soccer.

 

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