BURLINGTON, Ont. — Struggling Laidlaw Inc. has sought bankruptcy protection in a Canadian court and is expected to do the same south of the border over the next few days.
However as Greg Rumble, executive vice-president of Laidlaw Carriers Inc., explains, the trucking operation was actually sold off in 1985 to Contrans. The company saw value in the name and that’s why it is still used today.
“We’re not connected to Laidlaw Inc. at all,” he says. “We have to do a lot more explaining, but I assure you we are very profitable and aren’t going anywhere.”
Apparently the fleet has been flooded by phone calls following several erroneous reports that appeared in other Toronto media sources. The company is now trying to reassure the shippers it deals with that the trucking operation is 100 per cent secure, despite the bankruptcy of its previous corporate parent.
Reports indicate Laidlaw Inc.’s creditors will get between 70 and 80 cents on the dollar under the proposal. But only 17 cents per dollar would be in the form of cash; another 25 cents would be paid in notes and the remainder would come in the way of shares in a newly restructured Laidlaw company.
In fiscal 2000, Laidlaw Inc. reported an operating loss of US$961 million on revenues of $2.92 billion.
The failing company’s stock has traded as high as 93 cents in the last year but is currently valued at less than 20 cents a share. The stock closed at 18 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.