Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ProQuest: A Question of Financing

Infotoday | ProQuest: A Question of Financing:
ProQuest Co.’s financial future came into question in May as the publisher of information and education resources reached an agreement with its bank lenders and with private placement note holders in which both parties granted the company a waiver from current defaults under its credit agreements.

Despite the company’s financial difficulties stemming from an accounting irregularity, at least one industry analyst said suppliers and customers have yet to see any negative results.

The news about the accounting problem arose in early February 2006, only 3 months before the company moved into a new $34 million facility in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The company plans to look at the potential sale of different assets, in particular the Business Solutions division, which, according to ProQuest chairman and CEO Alan Aldworth’s prepared statement, would “be attractive to potential buyers with a structure and resource base to invest in its full potential.”

The Business Solutions division’s reported unaudited revenue for 2005 was $183 million, while unaudited earnings before interest and taxes were $49.2 million.

The division provides management, technical, and e-commerce solutions to the automotive and power equipment markets. The division’s products are designed to turn complex technical and performance measurement data into easily accessed answers.

As part of the new financial agreements, ProQuest also granted a security interest in “substantially all of its and its domestic [subsid­iaries’] assets and to provide guarantees from all of its subsidiaries with respect to the credit agreements,” reported the company in its 8-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission in early May.

No comments: