Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Beard, Venture Capital Group to Provide Financing for Tricon

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Beard, Venture Capital Group to Provide Financing for Tricon

Article excerpt

Beard Oil Co. and the Merrill Lynch Oklahoma venture capital partnership have signed a letter of intent to provide interim and permanent financing for Tricon America Corp., a subsidiary of American First Corp., the companies said Friday.

The transaction will result in Tricon being owned 60 percent by Beard Oil, 20 percent by ML Oklahoma Venture Partners and its co-investors, and 20 percent by American First.

Without the first stage of the refinancing by Beard Oil and ML Oklahoma, American First said it could have faced default declarations by debt holders and been forced to seek bankruptcy court protection.

Tricon manufactures and installs enclosures for the telecommunications industry. It has the world-wide license to manufacture and install a patented below-ground fiberglass controlled-environment vault.

In the transaction's first phase, Beard Oil and ML Oklahoma Venture Partners agreed to arrange an additional $500,000 short-term loan from Tricon's primary bank for immediate working capital.

The bank will extend the term of Tricon's $1.5 million revolving credit facility from April 30 to July 2, the companies said.

In September 1989, American First and Tricon, formerly LOH Corp., acquired some assets from the bankruptcies of Diversified Health Cos., Tricon America Inc. and CBM Products Inc. LOH changed its name to Tricon America Corp. after the asset purchases.

Under the terms of the acquisition, American First and Tricon assumed the allowed claims against those companies. In January, they opted to defer some first quarterly debt payments.

American First said that unless some $85,000 in bankruptcy installment payments are made by April 15, American First and Tricon will default on the $2.8 million bankruptcy principal debt and the $1.2 million balance on Tricon's revolving credit agreement. …

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