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IDA STILL AWAITING FINANCIAL DATA FROM KIWI

The $550,000 loan Kiwi International Air Lines wants from Niagara County is being personally guaranteed by the president of Wasatch International, rather than the Baltimore physician who controls 80 percent of Kiwi.

John R. Simon, executive director of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, said the loan will be guaranteed by Joseph Logan, president of Wasatch, a company that has invested heavily in Kiwi.

Airline spokesman Robert B. Kulat said Wasatch, a publicly traded company, has a $2 million debt position in Kiwi International Holdings, the airline's parent firm. He said that position can be converted into equity in the airline at any time.

The County Legislature has required that someone involved in Kiwi personally guarantee the loan. Initially, Dr. Charles Edwards, the Baltimore physician, was to give the guarantee.

But, it was learned, he has many other financial commitments in connection with Kiwi and its emergence from Bankruptcy Court in July.

The loan is being sought to pay start-up costs for the proposed passenger service between Niagara Falls International Airport and Newark, N.J.

Meanwhile, new delays cropped up last week in the planned delivery of all the financial data the IDA has requested from Kiwi, including Logan's audited net worth.

Earlier, Simon said he had been told by Kiwi's chief financial officer that all the financial data the IDA sought would be delivered by Friday.

But Jerry Murphy, Kiwi president and chief executive officer, told IDA finance manager Gary E. Kelsey in a telephone conversation Friday that the airline's accountants had not yet completed their work.

Simon said Murphy promised the information would arrive today or Tuesday.

Simon said the IDA needs full financial statements, including information on debt and liens against the airline, before it can recommend approval of the loan.

He said the airline's eight-page marketing plan for the Niagara Falls flights did arrive by fax Friday.

Simon said it will take at least a week for all the material to be reviewed. The IDA may present its findings and ask for a vote by the County Legislature on Oct. 21, he said.

The Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has been spearheading efforts to make appointments between businesses and a Kiwi representative to discuss advance purchases of tickets.

Kiwi asked for at least $250,000 in advance sales. The Legislature required 300 books of 10 tickets each be sold in advance.

Earlier last week, Chamber President Charles P. Steiner announced that five to 10 "solid commitments" had been received from businesses.

Simon said the efforts have concentrated on large firms but there has been interest among smaller businesses as well.

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