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FEDERAL COURT SETS $350,000 BOND IN GROWING BATTLE BETWEEN RAYTHEON'S AMANA AND ITS LARGEST DISTRIBUTOR

 FEDERAL COURT SETS $350,000 BOND IN GROWING BATTLE
 BETWEEN RAYTHEON'S AMANA AND ITS LARGEST DISTRIBUTOR
 NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. District Court of the District of New Jersey granted Amana Refrigeration, Inc., a subsidiary of the electronics and defense industry giant Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), a $350,000 bond by Cooper Distributing Company, its largest distributor, to cover Amana's allegations of loss of profits while Cooper fights to retain its 30-year distributorship with Amana, it was announced today by Cooper Distributing. Amana had originally requested that the bond be set at $2 million and subsequently asked for $1 million. Rules of court require that in cases of injunctions, the court fix a bond.
 Cooper, located in Newark, was granted a preliminary injunction by the court on Jan. 24 to prevent termination of its contract with Amana.
 "The dangling ax remains hanging over my company," said Bill Cooper, president of Cooper Distributing, which derives 85 percent of its business from the sale and service of Amana products. "But I'm determined not to be the next victim in the bloodletting that Amana has perpetrated on its loyal distributors countrywide."
 Since November 1991, Amana has cancelled most of its distributors nationwide in an attempt to combine the marketing of Caloric, Amana and Speed Queen into one sales group headquartered in Amana, Iowa. No distributor has managed to stave off Amana's moves until Cooper Distributing, Amana's New York metropolitan area distributor and one of its oldest, took legal action under New Jersey's Franchise Practices Act.
 The New Jersey Franchise Practices Act protects New Jersey businesses from being cancelled for any reason other than poor performance. It is considered to be one of the toughest, but untested, franchise protection laws in the country.
 "Performance is not an issue, even Amana acknowledges that," said Chris Franzblau, attorney for Cooper Distributing. "Amana is after Cooper's profits. It's that simple." According to Franzblau, Amana is seeking to service Cooper's hard-won territory from an existing Raytheon facility in Teterboro, N.J.
 Amana is challenging the legal definition, under the New Jersey act, of Cooper Distributing as a franchisee of Amana.
 Cooper criticizes not only Amana's motives in cancelling his profitable distributorship, but its tactics as well. "I was given ten days' notice to lie down, roll over and give up a mutually successful, 30-year relationship," said Cooper. That was Nov. 4, 1991. On Nov. 15, Cooper obtained a temporary restraining order from a state court, alleging violation of the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act. The case was removed to federal court, where it was heard on Jan. 13, 1992. A preliminary injunction was granted on Jan. 24.
 In awarding the injunction, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry found that Cooper would be irreparably harmed absent an injunction and that the company has demonstrated a likelihood of success in proving at trial that its termination by Amana was invalid under the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act. According to the act, cancellation for a business reason, such as Raytheon's appliance consolidation, is unlawful.
 Cooper expects his battle with Amana will be protracted and intends to seek punitive damages from the high-end appliance manufacturer. In fiscal 1990, the appliance business for Amana's parent company, Raytheon Company, constituted $1.1 billion, or roughly 11 percent of corporate volume. Raytheon net sales in that year reached $927 billion.
 -0- 2/18/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Franzblau, Esq., 201-533-7264, for Cooper Distributing; or William Cooper, president of Cooper Distributing, 201-643-8318/
 (RTN) CO: Cooper Distributing Company; Amana Refrigeration, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: HOU SU:


GK -- NY109 -- 0181 02/18/92 17:52 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1992
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