Seeking to emerge from debt, NVR to file reorganization plan

January 15, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

NVR L.P., the parent of Ryan Homes, said yesterday that it would file a reorganization plan in federal bankruptcy court today, hoping to restructure its way out from under the crushing debt that forced it to file for court protection in April 1992.

"It will mean [to customers] the same thing that the bankruptcy meant to them -- nothing," said Douglas Poretz, a spokesman for McLean, Va.-based NVR, which had been one of the nation's biggest home builders before high debt and sluggish markets forced the company to downsize.

But the holders of NVR's partnership units would be affected, the company said. If the plan is approved by the court, the unit holders would see their collective 100 percent stake in the company diluted to 6 percent. The units closed yesterday at 87.5 cents, up 25 cents, on high volume of 284,700 units.

The biggest loser among the existing unit holders would be the company chairman, Dwight C. Schar, the largest unit holder. His stake in the company was once worth an estimated $70 million.

More than 90 percent of the company would be given to the owners of $205 million of junk bonds on which NVR defaulted in 1990.

Those bonds were issued to pay for the takeover of Ryan Homes by NVHomes in 1986. NVHomes financed the merger almost entirely with debt, in part because Ryan was three times as big as NVHomes.

NVR's banks would not be repaid immediately under the plan. The $160 million they are owed would be repaid in the form of new bonds that NVR would issue to the lenders, the company said, adding that NVR "intends to pursue negotiations with the banks regarding the proposed treatment of their claims under the plan."

Mr. Poretz said the terms of the new bonds would be disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing "shortly."

Mr. Poretz said that although NVR has had to pull out of some markets to cut costs, it remains the top home builder in metropolitan Washington, its most important market. Combining NVHomes and Ryan Homes, it is the second-biggest home builder in metropolitan Baltimore, behind Ryland Homes.

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