MIAMI -- Far & Wide announced that it was filing for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection Sept. 24.
Chairman and CEO Phil Bakes cited a "liquidity and cash crunch"
because of the "calamity that has visited leisure travel with Sept.
11, Iraq, SARS and some lesser curve balls from the economy and the
Bakes informed employees of the news in a conference call early
Most employees will be laid off and will not be paid for the
preceding 10-day pay period, the company said.
Far & Wide intends to use remaining resources to take care
of customers either traveling or scheduled to depart; to maintain a
limited operating infrastructure for the business units that have
good prospects or firm commitments from former owners to buy the
companies back; and to support efforts to find buyers for as many
assets or business units as possible.
However, once the bankruptcy is filed, Bakes said, the use of
that cash will be subject to court approval.
The ex-owners of 10 Far & Wide companies confirmed they are
trying to take back and operate those enterprises. They include
Swain Australia Tours, African Travel, Pacific Bestours, Adventure
Center, Lion World Tours, Intercontinental Travel Co., IST Cultural
Tours, Journeys Unlimited, Regina Tours and High Country
Far & Wide was founded in March 1999 with its acquisition of
Central Holidays and Swain Australia Tours. In June 2000, Far &
Wide acquired IST Cultural Tours, and the next month Far & Wide
purchased of Tourlite and Zeus Tours. The company went on to build
its portfolio of 17 tour companies.
To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].