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December 01, 2004  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Blue Bird completes financial restructuring


FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird Corp. has emerged from a financial restructuring with its parent company, Henlys Group PLC, establishing the school bus manufacturer as the sole operating subsidiary of a new U.S. holding company.

Volvo Group and members of Henlys’ banking syndicate claimed principal ownership of the newly formed company, dubbed Peach County Holdings Inc. Each received 42.5 percent of Peach, with the balance going to Blue Bird management and the trustee of Henlys’ pension scheme.

In addition to the transfer of ownership, the restructuring reduced Henlys’ debt level by about $303 million.

“This was a complicated problem that was solved by a partnership of bank interests, the Volvo Group and management,” said Jeff Bust, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “Blue Bird should now compete with the benefits of a solid balance sheet and can move forward with its improvement process at a faster rate than over the last 12 months.”

In another effect of the restructuring, Volvo Bussar AB gained 100 percent ownership of motorcoach manufacturer Prevost Car Inc., which it previously shared with Henlys.

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