ITWASSOOTED: Refco seeks quick nod to sell unit

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Refco seeks quick nod to sell unit

NEW YORK: Bankrupt Refco Inc sought fast approval for the sale of its brokerage unit to a private equity consortium on Friday, despite receiving a higher bid that sparked hopes among bond investors of a bidding war.

The commodities broker appealed to a bankruptcy court to quickly sell the company's most sought after asset, its futures brokerage, while several Refco creditors revealed more about their exposure to the company.

Refco's futures brokerage unit is still operating and has not filed for bankruptcy, and one of its key customers, Cargill Inc, said it will continue trading with the business.

Cargill is not alone. Jacob Goldfield, a member of the J C Flowers & Co-led group that has offered to buy the futures unit said customers are now staying with the business and that the client base has stabilized.

But Refco cautioned in a court filing that time is of the essence, and selling the business quickly is crucial.

"Given the fragility of the acquired business, the buyer's commitment to proceed with the sale requires that the sale be consummated quickly," Refco said.
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