Judge OKs sale of Conseco Finance

| Wednesday, March 19, 2003

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of St. Paul, MN-based Conseco Finance to CFN and GE Consumer Finance, a unit of the General Electric Co., after an auction in which the two firms made a winning bid of $1.01 billion for the financially troubled division, The Associated Press reported March 17.

A number of truckdrivers have their rigs financed through Conseco.

Conseco Inc. announced Dec. 17 it would file for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws. The filing – a "voluntary petition to reorganize" – is the third largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to media reports.

Conseco owed creditors $6.5 billion related to acquisitions during the 1990s, including the purchase of Green Tree Finance, which became Conseco Finance. That purchase gave the firm the largest collection of mobile-home loans in the country, according to a report from AP.

The sale decision was announced by Bankruptcy Judge Carol A. Doyle in Chicago. CFN Investment Holdings, one of the two companies purchasing the finance unit, is a joint venture of Fortress Investment Group, J.C. Flowers & Co. and Cerberus Capital Management.

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