- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2001

MIAMI (AP) ANC Rental Corp., the parent company of the Alamo and National car-rental companies, yesterday filed for bankruptcy protection, a corporate victim of the retreat in travel since the terrorist attacks.
"The drastic decline in travel after September 11 has taken a tremendous toll on our business, and our current capital and expense structure cannot absorb the shortfall," said ANC Chairman and CEO Michael Egan. He promised to "continue serving customers while we stabilize the business."
Customers of the two brands will not notice any difference in service, and all reservations will be honored, the company said.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, fourth-largest in the industry after Enterprise, Hertz and Avis, intends to reorganize its business operations and finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
International operations and independent national franchise holders are not affected by the bankruptcy filing in Wilmington, Del.
Nasdaq halted trading in ANC before the markets opened yesterday at a price of 60 cents a share.
The company faced a deadline tomorrow for paying lenders $70 million in principal, which had been deferred since September.
Mr. Egan warned shortly after the attacks that ANC might not survive without government help, but the airline industry has been the only one to get federal funds.
ANC already has cut its fleet, its work force at headquarters and in the field, hired new senior management and merged the sales forces of the two brands.
The company went looking for a buyer last month as it named a new president, chief financial officer and a restructuring officer and announced plans to close a reservations center with 260 employees in Charlotte, N.C.
ANC uses General Motors as its main vehicle supplier. National focuses on business travelers, while Alamo pitches the leisure market.
About 90 percent of their business relied on airport travelers, who were scaling back travel even before the attacks.
ANC also was losing money before the attacks. It was projecting a loss for the year and had a net loss of $23.6 million on falling revenue in the quarter before its traditional summer boom.
Mr. Egan ran Alamo before selling to AutoNation Inc., which spun off its rental-car lines last year, and returned to his brainchild again in January.

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