Financial Accounting Blog

Friday, May 28, 2004

HealthSouth. Healthsouth's lack of audited statements puts them at risk of bankruptcy even though they have good cash flow. This article says that small shareholders are raising questions about Franklin Mutual Advisors Senior Vice President Michael Embler and his purchasing of HealthSouth's debt.
Embler is known as an aggressive scavenger who favors the debt of struggling companies like Qwest and WorldCom. His fund scooped up HealthSouth bonds early last year, when the healthcare chain revealed a multibillion-dollar accounting fraud, and has since assumed a prominent role in a bondholder fight against the company. His group is seeking a big wad of cash to keep them from accelerating debt payments -- and triggering a possible bankruptcy -- under a technical default caused by the company's lack of audited financial statements. The group, known as the Unofficial Committee of Bondholders, has so far refused HealthSouth's cash offers as "clearly insufficient" and has accused the company of employing "strong-arm tactics" instead of negotiating in good faith with its creditors.