Rand McNally emerges from bankruptcy; new owner to take over

| 4/10/2003

Skokie, IL-based map-making company Rand McNally announced this week that it would emerge from bankruptcy, but with a new owner.

The 147-year-old company announced Feb. 11 that it had filed papers in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

On April 7, a statement from the company announced it had completed a “financial restructuring and recapitalization,” and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, would now own a majority interest of the company.

The company warned Jan. 14 that it would file Chapter 11 if it received approval from its creditors for a plan to recapitalize and reduce its debts. Rand McNally officials said that during the process, the company's services would continue as usual.

“The restructuring plan … is designed so that normal business operations continue, with no effect on customers, vendors, operations or employees,” Michael K. Hehir, president and CEO of Rand McNally, said in a statement.

Hehir indicated in a statement April 7 that the company was satisfied with the outcome of the Chapter 11 process.

"Today's emergence from Chapter 11 … is great news for our customers and employees,” he said. “We are now  considerably stronger company with significantly less debt. We are positioned to expand on our leadership role in the mapping industry.”

Peter Nolan, a managing partner at Leonard Green, said the 60-day process had reduced the company's debt by more than $250 million.

The company had been headed toward acquisition for some time. Reuters news service reported Feb. 13 that Rand McNally had invited bids for the purchase of the company at an earlier date. Those bids were due Sept. 12, 2001, and were delayed after the September 11 attacks.