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ARKANSAS BEST HOLDINGS CORP. EXTENDS EXPIRATION DATE OF OFFER TO PURCHASE 14 PERCENT SENIOR SUBORDINATED NOTES

 ARKANSAS BEST HOLDINGS CORP. EXTENDS EXPIRATION DATE OF
 OFFER TO PURCHASE 14 PERCENT SENIOR SUBORDINATED NOTES
 FT. SMITH, Ark., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkansas Best Holdings Corp. (formerly known as Arkansas Best Corporation) announced today that it has extended until 5 p.m. New York City time on Tuesday, May 12, 1992, the expiration date of its offer to purchase all of its outstanding 14 percent senior subordinated notes due 1998 for $1,115 per $1,000 principal amount of notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, plus a consent payment of $30 per $1,000 principal amount of notes.
 The offer was previously scheduled to expire at 5 p.m. New York City time on April 16, 1992. The company explained that the offer is being extended pending customary SEC review of the registration statement that has been filed in connection with a proposed public offering of common stock by the company's parent, Arkansas Best Corporation (formerly known as Best Holding Corporation), the proceeds of which will be used to finance the offer to purchase and related expenses.
 The company offered to purchase the notes pursuant to an offer to purchase and consent solicitation dated March 19, 1992, which provides for the cash offer price of $1,115 per $1,000 principal amount of notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest. The offer to purchase in subject to a number of conditions, including successful completion of the common stock offering by Arkansas Best Corporation, refinancing of the company's existing bank credit agreement and receipt of tenders and related consents for a majority of the outstanding notes. The dealer- managers for the offer are The First Boston Corporation, Alex. Brown & Sons Incorporated and Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated.
 In connection with the offer to purchase, the company is also soliciting consents from the holders of at least a majority in principal amount of the notes to amend the indenture governing the notes to eliminate substantially all of the restrictive covenants, to limit events of default and to restrict remedies under the indenture. The company has offered to pay the consent payment of $30 per $1,000 principal amount of notes for which a valid consent is timely delivered.
 As of 5 p.m. New York City time on April 16, 1992, approximately $113 million in principal amount of notes (out of $125 million in notes outstanding), and consents related to such notes, had been deposited with the depositary, the United States Trust Company of New York.
 As a result of having obtained the consent of more than a majority in principal amount of the notes, the company and the indenture trustee intend to execute a supplemental indenture relating to the proposed amendments today, or as soon thereafter as possible. The company has announced that as an incentive to the holders of the notes who have not yet delivered their notes, the $30 consent payments will be made to holders of notes who deliver their consents before the expiration of the offer. Following execution of the supplemental indenture, tendering noteholders will no longer be able to withdraw notes tendered, unless the company reduces the amount of notes subject to the offer or the consideration to be paid.
 Arkansas Best Corporation is primarily engaged, through its motor carrier subsidiaries, in general commodities shipping. Arkansas Best is also engaged through its 46.4 percent owned subsidiary, Treadco, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRED), in truck tire retreading and sales, which accounted for approximately 9.0 percent of its consolidated revenues in 1991.
 A registration statement related to the common stock offering of Arkansas Best Corporation has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.
 For more information or a written prospectus relating to the offering by Arkansas Best Corporation, see contact below.
 -0- 4/17/92
 /CONTACT: Randall M. Loyd of Arkansas Best, 501-785-6200/ CO: Arkansas Best Holdings Corp. ST: Arkansas IN: SU: OFR


TS-PS -- NY002 -- 9628 04/17/92 08:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 17, 1992
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