- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 26, 2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Vanguard Airlines Inc., whose assets are up for sale in bankruptcy court, rejected a buyout offer yesterday from a group of investors headed by the owner of the Hooters restaurant chain.
Vanguard lawyer Daniel Flanigan told a bankruptcy judge that the Hooters Air offer was "inadequate," though he would not disclose the terms.
Vanguard set an Oct. 3 deadline for investors, including Hooters Air, to come up with a better offer. At that point, Vanguard plans to reduce its skeleton staff to 11 employees, who will help sell off the company's assets, Mr. Flanigan said.
Also in court yesterday, bankruptcy Judge Jerry W. Venters approved Vanguard's request to begin selling off assets, including aircraft parts and computer equipment.
Vanguard's assets are worth about $4.6 million. With some safeguards in place for creditors, the airline wants the court to let it to sell some of its assets piecemeal, without court approval for each transaction.
The Kansas City discount airline abruptly stopped operating July 30, laying off 90 percent of its work force and filing for bankruptcy.
A group headed by the owner of the Hooters chain has offered to buy some of Vanguard's assets and establish a commercial airline in Kansas City. Hooters Air LLC, led by Hooters of America Inc. owner and Chairman Robert H. Brooks, has not revealed details about the plan.
Hooters did not have any representatives in court yesterday.
All of Vanguard's airplanes were leased, but Hooters Air has said it plans to buy airplane parts, ground equipment, furniture and fixtures.
Aviation analysts have said the main asset that any potential buyer would want through the bankruptcy process is Vanguard's operating certificate.

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