NEW YORK — Integrated Resources Inc., which built its fortune on tax shelters and tried to become a financial services giant by turning to junk bonds, sought federal bankruptcy protection Tuesday after some of its creditors balked at restructuring more than $1.6 billion in debt.
The move came as the parent of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., which underwrote a large portion of Integrated's debt, also prepared to file for bankruptcy protection.
Drexel, Wall Street's junk bond leader, is Integrated's fifth-largest creditor.
Trading in Integrated was temporarily halted on the New York Stock Exchange after Tuesday's announcement. It later closed sharply lower at 17 cents a share, down from 25 cents Monday.
Integrated officials said they were forced to file for protection under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws because a few creditors refused to negotiate the debt restructuring. The creditors had filed or planned to file legal complaints against Integrated.
The company, which said it hoped to resume talks with creditors soon, said the creditors had the ability to seize Integrated's assets to satisfy their individual claims.
Integrated originally was a real estate company and expanded rapidly several years ago by selling tax-sheltered investments, eventually becoming the largest seller of those investments. That business was scuttled by 1986 tax law revisions, and the company then moved aggressively into insurance and mutual funds, financed largely through junk bonds arranged by Drexel.
For a while, Integrated was one of the many junk bond-financed rags-to-riches stories. But it was unable to sell enough real estate partnerships, insurance policies and mutual funds to service its debt burden and its high overhead.
"They had a capital situation where they were living on the edge," said Leigh Walzer, a securities analyst with R. D. Smith & Co. in New York. "They were living in an age of high leverage that made them, then unmade them."
Integrated's filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan protects the company from creditors while it continues to operate and attempts to reorganize its finances. The company said none of its subsidiaries and affiliates is included in the filing.
Among the subsidiaries is corporate jet manufacturer LearJet Corp. of Wichita, Kan., which earlier this week agreed to be sold for $60 million to an investment group that includes the management of Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream Aerospace. Weinroth said that although the acquisition must be approved by the federal bankruptcy court, he expects it to proceed with only minor delays.
The LearJet purchase by the management group is part of a two-part deal that also involves the acquisition of Gulfstream from its current owner, Chrysler Corp.
Integrated's liabilities totaled $1.961 billion as of June 30, the latest date for which results are available. That included $1.62 billion in long- and short-term debt, with junk bonds accounting for $800 million.
Assets totaled $1.402 billion, giving Integrated a negative net worth of $559 million.
According to the bankruptcy court papers, Integrated said its top 10 creditors included large banks and savings and loans, some of which bought much of the junk bonds issued by Drexel under its indicted former bond leader Michael Milken.
Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. led all creditors with a total owed of $55.84 million, followed by Chemical Bank with $51.57 million.
INTEGRATED RESOURCES' BIGGEST CREDITORS
Manufacturers Hanover Trust $56 million
Chemical Bank 52 million
Executive Life Insurance 49 million
Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. 45 million
Drexel Burnham Lambert 41 million
Imperial Savings & Loan 40 million
Centrust Savings & Loan 39 million
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 33 million
USX Portfolio Inc. 24 million
Mellon Bank 23 million
Source: Dow Jones News Service