Minstar Agrees to Sell 5 Business Units

Associated Press

Minstar Inc. has agreed to sell five business units--including three operations of AMF Inc.--for about $110 million to reduce its debt, according to Minstar's chairman, Minneapolis financier Irwin L. Jacobs.

Included with the sale of three units of AMF, which Minstar acquired in a $525-million hostile takeover last summer, was the $42- million sale of Minstar's Los Angeles-based Minstar Record Management unit to Bell & Howell Co.

Minstar acquired Bekins Co., the parent of Bekins Record Management, in 1983 and previously announced plans to sell the records business along with other Bekins properties. In Tuesday's announcement, Jacobs said Minstar was in final negotiations for the sale of U Rent Furniture, another Bekins unit.

Following the takeover of AMF, a sporting goods, industrial and energy conglomerate, Minstar's long-term debt doubled to $734.6 million from $358.1 million by June 30, according to documents filed in connection with the merger.

Robin Young, a securities analyst with Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood Inc. of Minneapolis, said Tuesday that Minstar's long-term debt totaled $756 million by Sept. 30, giving the company a debt-to-equity ratio of almost four to one.

Young said he believed that Minstar would raise about $400 million from the sales announced Tuesday and the sale of other AMF businesses.

In Tuesday's announcement, Jacobs said Minstar had signed a letter of intent to sell Union Machinery Co. and had closed the sale of Biological & Diagnostics Co. to groups of individual investors.

Both businesses were among 13 AMF units that Minstar put up for sale in August, shortly after the takeover.

The company also said it had signed a letter of intent to sell Tire Equipment Co., which is an AMF unit not previously designated for sale, and the Long Mile Rubber Co. unit of Aegis Corp., which Minstar acquired in 1984.

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