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US parts makers Visteon, Metaldyne file for Chapter 11

Posted on: June 5, 2009


Reuters – Friday, May 29

* Ford commits support to DIP financing for Visteon

* Carlyle Group and RHJ offer to buy Metaldyne assets

* Non-U.S. ops of both companies excluded from filings

By Ajay Kamalakaran

BANGALORE, May 28 – Auto parts makers Visteon Corp <VSTN.PK> and Metaldyne Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for their U.S. operations, becoming the latest casualties of the global auto industry crisis.

Both Visteon, which Ford Motor Co <F.N> spun off in 2000, and Metaldyne Corp, a unit of Japan’s Asahi Tec <5606.T>, said on Thursday that the bankruptcy filings do not include their non-U.S. entities or operations.

The announcements came as automaker General Motors Corp <GM.N> moved closer to filing the largest bankruptcy ever for a U.S. industrial company [ID:nSP402834]. The worst economic crisis in decades is re-shaping the global auto industry, driving the weakest to the wall and hammering sales and profits across the board.

In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Visteon listed total assets of $4.58 billion and total debts of $5.32 billion.

Visteon’s unsecured creditors include a unit of Bank of New York Mellon Corp <BK.N> holding bond debts, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp and IBM <IBM.N>, which is a trade creditor.

Visteon said it filed certain customary “first day motions” with the court to ensure a smooth transition into Chapter 11.

“During the reorganization period, we will seek to address our capital structure and legacy costs that are not sustainable given the current economic environment,” Visteon Chief Executive Donald Stebbins said in a statement.

Visteon said it would continue its operations throughout the reorganization process.

FORD COMMITS TO DIP FINANCING

Visteon said the Ford had made a commitment to support debtor-in-possession financing for the restructuring efforts and to ensure long-term continuity of supply.

Ford is still Visteon’s biggest customer and accounted for about 31 percent of its $1.35 billion of sales last quarter.

Earlier this month, Ford assumed a $163 million secured revolving credit facility from Visteon’s lenders.

The health of the U.S. auto parts supply base has been a priority for Ford with Chrysler in bankruptcy and General Motors close to a government-imposed deadline to restructure or follow Chrysler down that road.

RHJ, CARLYLE TO BUY METALDYNE ASSETS

Plymouth, Michigan-based Metaldyne, a supplier of metal-based auto components which filed for Chapter 11 late on Wednesday, said it would sell a majority of its assets as going concerns under a court supervised process.

RHJ International SA <RHJI.BR>, which owns a 60 percent stake in Asahi Tec, and private equity firm Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], separately submitted letters of intent to purchase different portions of Metaldyne assets, Metaldyne said.

Metaldyne said Asahi Tec will not continue its economic support for the company.

RHJ said it would buy a majority of Metaldyne’s assets under the court-supervised sale. [ID:nWEA4588]. Carlyle has proposed a purchase of certain of Metaldyne’s Chassis business assets in the United States, Mexico and Spain, Metaldyne said.

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