January 22, 20001
Sierra Cities/Vertical Net
Fitch Lowers Comdisco Rating due to Venture Leases/Loans
Equifax/UAEL Announcement "recalled."
Leasing Association Dues Comparison/Analysis
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Saturday e-commerce software maker VerticalNet, who formerly were point to merge with
Sierra Cities, announced they are cutting 150 jobs or 8.3 percent of its workforce to help
reduce costs. About half of the positions being eliminated are at VericalNet's headquarters in
Horsham, Pa. The rest affect other operations around the country. VerticalNet said the
dismissals would save about $11 million a year after the company records a one-time charge of $2 million to $3 million to cover expenses related to the job cuts.
Last week, VerticalNet and SierraCities.com Inc., a provider of corporate online banking
services, abandoned their plans to merge, citing stock market conditions. VerticalNet previously had failed to gain approval from shareholders of Houston, Texas-based SierraCities.com after
VerticalNet's share price slumped 83% since Nov. 6, when the deal was announced. The all-stock
deal was initially valued at $133 million.
Earlier this month, VerticalNet's chief executive Joseph Galli Jr. left the company to become
CEO of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., after just five months on the job.
On January 8, the stock price at Sierra Cities hit new 52-week low ($1.156) Last Friday, the
stock closed at $3.03 a share on Friday,http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=btob&d=v1, up for the week
http://www.sierracities.com/stock_chart.asp. A year ago the stock was selling at
$19.93 a share. At price time, it was 2 31/32
+ + +
"First Sierra situation will not improve until leadership changes. There is no
leadership at the top. Attempts were made in every direction to bypass the sales force.
Should they be surprised that the sales force left?
"Our voice mail at our office suggested they visit the web site to get
on-line financing ( ie. no commission to pay to retail sales person
who brought them the customer spent by the retail not corporate dollar )
Our monthly statements to customer didn't sell leases at retail level
but loans by going on-line.
"Glad I am gone."
Name With Held
Fitch Lower Comdisco's Sr Debt To `BBB'; Rating Outlook Downgraded to Stable
( Comdisco to have statement and telephone conference open to all investors
on January 31st ).
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 2001--Comdisco, Inc.'s (CDO) senior debt rating has been lowered to `BBB' from `BBB+' and the commercial paper rating has been affirmed at `F2' by Fitch. Concurrent with this rating action, the Rating Watch Negative status has been removed. Fitch's Rating Outlook for CDO's debt is Stable. Approximately $5.5 billion of debt securities are affected by Fitch's actions.
Actions supporting the rating change include an indefinite delay in a planned Ventures tracking stock initial public offering (IPO) because of current market conditions, continuing losses at managed network services affecting overall earnings in the Technology Services segment and uncertainty of proceeds from sale of Prism Communications equipment. Positively, CDO has announced that it is exiting its managed network services business in order to focus on its core continuity business and high potential Web hosting and data storage services.
Fitch's Stable Rating Outlook is supported by CDO's commitment going forward to reduce its funding of Ventures, CDO's total debt outstanding including discounted lease rentals, and total debt-to-equity. CDO's ratings are supported by good cash flow from its core leasing and services businesses and the good asset quality of its core lease portfolio. Maintenance of diverse funding sources has proven beneficial to CDO over the past six months and liquidity remains adequate.
Fitch remains concerned that the rapid growth in venture loans in fiscal 2000 raises asset quality issues in that a significant portion of this portfolio is unseasoned. Additionally, concerns remain about the high proportion of unrealized equity security gains that are included in CDO's equity base. CDO's book equity remains exposed to the volatility of public equity markets. Since fiscal year-end 2000, CDO has realized some of the equity gains despite price performance pressures in the technology sector equity market.
In addition to CDO's good cash flow from operations, Fitch's rating concerns are somewhat mitigated by CDO's good business diversity and solid operating history. To management's credit, the company has expanded beyond its core lease product into services. The services business provides CDO with recurring fee-based revenue as well as differentiating itself from 'money-on-money' lessors. Additionally, throughout its history, CDO has successfully operated against some of the largest leasing companies in the world.
Comdisco, Inc. is a worldwide company offering financial solutions that reduce technology cost and risk and offering services supporting technology infrastructure. CDO's businesses are Leasing, Technology Services and Ventures. These businesses well-position CDO as a broad-range provider of information technology solutions and services. The Leasing unit provides leasing and remarketing of distributed systems and communications equipment. Leasing also provides leasing and technology life cycle management services for the semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical and communications industries. Technology Services offers business continuity, desktop management, and Web services and software. Ventures provides venture debt and venture leasing to emerging technology companies.
Thomas A. Kmiotek, 312/368-2057
Fitch, New York
Philip S. Walker Jr., 212/908-0624
Media Relations: James Jockle, 212/908-054
special report---to be posted "on line"
Non-Profit Leasing Industry Assoication Dues
( Analysis and description of each association below chart)
EAEL ELA M-AEL NAELB UAEL
Broker up to $3m $300 $1,200 $150 $295 $445
Broker up to $5m $300 $1,200 $150 $295 $575
Broker up to $12m $600 $2,500 $150 $295 $800
Broker up to $24 $800 $2,500 $150 $295 $1,050
Broker up to $100 $800 $5,000 $150 $295 $1,250
Broker up to $500 $800 $8,000 $150 $295 $1,250
Broker up to $1b $800 $12,000 $150 $295 $1,250
Funder up to $10m $800 $1,200 $150 $750 $1,750
Funder up to $50m $800 $2,500 $150 $750 $1,750
Funder up to $500m $800 $5,000 $150 $750 $1,750
Funder up to 1b $800 $8,000 $150 $750 $1,750
Funder over 1b $800 $12,000 $150 $750 $1,750
Service 1-5 empl. $800 $1,500 $150 $600 $1,200
Service 6-15 empl $800 $2,500 $150 $600 $1,200
Service 16-50 empl $800 $3,500 $150 $600 $1,200
Service Over 50 emp $800 $5,000 $150 $600 $1,200
249 members 850 members n/a 475 members 589 members
The smallest and youngest leasing association, Mid-America Association of Equipment Lessors has
the less expensive dues. It primarily consists of lessors, those who carry their own leases,
their website states. It is more a "club," similar to how the well-established non-profit
associations started. It may have forty or more members ( no response for request of total
membership or benefits ) and the only meeting they have scheduled is golf (5/19-20 MAEL 3rd
Annual Warm Up Golf Weekend).
Their website states the organization consists of members of the industry from the upper
Mid-Western states, including Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky,
Missouri, Minnesota, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
The largest, 850 members, and perhaps the most politically influential leasing association, backed by all segments of the leasing industry, is the Equipment Leasing Association. Their dues reflect a professional, well-run and managed association with the most meetings, the best equipment leasing web site on line, legislative advocates in Washington, D.C., also available to many states, top rated conferences, and is very sophisticated. There is something for every segment of the leasing industry and many benefits to growing leasing companies and leasing company executives.
The Eastern Association of Equipment Leasing has 279 members and perhaps the most economical
dues for the wide variety of leasing industry segments.
They stated on their web site they are " a trade association for entrepreneurial leasing
companies, banks, brokers and their services firms." Members share information, have a close
bond, often join others in joint conferences. It has been rumored for years they will merge with another association, as many of their leadership is also involved in the other leasing industry
groups, but they have a comradeship that will not let this happen. A very strong group.
The National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers with 475 members is basically for new and
established leasing brokers in the United States; other segments of the industry are "members",
but do not have "voting rights" and the aim of this organization is education, standards, and
"betterment" for leasing brokers. The dues are quite economical, conferences very well
attended, with specialties of legal and colleague, grass roots support of a "brotherhood," if
that word is acceptable today ( they have real, down to earth espirit de corps ). Directors are
actually voted upon "from the floor", with actual "contests" for seats on the board of
directors. Perhaps the most unique feature, worth much more than the $295 broker and $700
funder dues is "listserve."
The name is what the feature is called on the World Wide Web. Michael Meacher, president, wrote in the Winter, 2000 "Leasing Logic" Newsletter to members: " think of this as 'broadcast
e-mail.' When you subscribe to listserve you can post a brief inquiry or response to an
inquiry on any industry related topic ( to all on line or just to the sender) You can get almost immediate feedback from hundreds of your peers on subjects like 'who will fund this deal', or
'does anyone know about this broker or funder.' Everyone on the listserve views your inquiry
and the responses." It works ( from personal testimony.)
NAELB is developing tools, primarily for brokers, and has recently produced a
video eight tape video series by Wildwood Financial Bob Baker, CLP, leasing sales guru, for
members only at $198. A new broker, or a person wanted to
be a "part-time lease broker," or to meet the funding sources that are looking for
"new blood," this is the most economical organization to join.
589 members strong, The United Association of Equipment Leasing, is going under another major
change with new executive director, new professional membership director, new conference director, re-vamping of their website, including an "on line" membership directory rather than printed "book". The mode seems to be toward "retention" and re-growth. Originally the Western Association of Equipment Leasing (WAEL,) the organization grew to a true national association in the last five years, who's eastern membership now equals western membership.
The Certified Leasing Professional ( CLP )program started here was "spun off" and is now a joint association sponsored and run "school."
The organization has also evolved from have "sigs," industry segments represented at the board
level and at conferences, and from active regional meetings to "funding symposiums" conducted
throughout the United States. "We got complaints from the funding source members about their
employees doing too many regional meetings It was too expensive for them to send all of their
people to the regional meetings (so we changed) .from 24 regional meetings to the 6 super
regional events," past president Bob Rodi, CPL, describes it.
Eastern Association of Equipment Leasing
$300.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (less than 3 employees)
$600.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (less than 50 Employees)
$800.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (more than 50 Employees)
$800.00 FULL MEMBERSHIP (funding source)
$800.00 SERVICE MEMBERSHIP (attorneys, accountants, etc.)
Full Annual Dues are collected with this application.
Equipment Leasing Association
Regular membership is open to any company, or division or subsidiary thereof, located in the
United States, engaged to a substantial extent in the leasing of equipment to other commercial
users or in the funding or arranging of such leases. The dues schedule is based on annual
$0-10M - $1200
$10-20M - $2200
$20-50M - $3200
$50-100M - $3900
$100 -250M - $4900
$250-500M - $5900
*Over $500M - $7500 (*Plus $750 per additional $100M)
Maximum - $30,000
Arranger Membership is open to any companies fitting the following definition: "companies acting as brokers, syndicators, investment bankers, lessee advisors, lessor advisors, and or portfolio
managers for the purpose of purely generating fee income." The dues schedule is based on the
annual volume arranged.
Based on volume arranged previous year
Less than $10M - $1200
$10-50M - $2500
$50-500M - $5000
$500M - 1B - $8000
Over $1B - $12000
Service ( attorneys, software providers, etc. )
Service 1-5 employees $1,500
Service 6-15 employees $2,500
Service 16-50 employees $3,500
Service Over 50 employees$5,000
International Members - $2000 per year
Mid-America Association of Equipment Lessors
Membership dues are $200.00 which includes an initiation fee of $50.00 and the first year's
annual dues of $150.00. We have requested a list of benefits from this organization.
National Association of Equipment Brokers
Type of Membership: Annual Dues:
Broker: Full voting status for those companies considered brokers (not funders) $295.00
Funding Source: Non-voting membership $750.00
Associate: Non-voting membership (Service Provider) $600.00
Additional Broker office of paid member $145.00
Additional Funding Source/Service
office of paid member $225.00
United Association of Equipment Leasing
Broker/Lessor < $3MM $445
Broker/Lessor $3-5MM $575
Broker/Lessor $5-12MM $800
Broker/Lessor $12-24MM $1,050
Broker/Lessor $24MM+ $1,250
Equifax and United Assoication of Equipment Leasing
For those asking for where the link is, and more information---sorry, now not available.
Both parites have asked me to remove the information as they will be making an official
announcement about their new partnership and services that will soon be available.
They were going to do issue a formal press release in February. I believe they are going to move it up to this week, as the information I had was "premature" and "private" they said. So I
am accommodating them. I took it off the report on line, at their request.
Jim Svinth Moving into New Office at GE/Colonial Pacific Leasing
we reported December 7, 1999 http://www.leasingnews.org/archives/December/12-07-00.htm
Finova Group laid off 90 employees, or about 9 percent of its workforce, in an ongoing effort to cut costs. This is old news, reported last week. The List will come out tomorrow
in Chronological order. ( I finished it over the weekend. editor ).