For some auto parts suppliers, the end of the rocky road of the past couple years may be over as a few sell off assets.
Intermet Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 on Aug. 12, may finally return to smooth pavement. The Fort Worth auto parts maker held an auction on Monday where Revstone Industries LLC, a privately held company based in Paris, Ky., was the winning bidder. (The Deal Pipeline subscribers can read more here.)
This was second bankruptcy filing since Sept. 29, 2004, for Intermet. Interestingly, the Intermet deal was Revstone’s second distressed acquisition of late. In May, it purchased six plants from bankrupt auto parts maker Contech LLC. (The Deal Pipeline subscribers can read about the Contech deal here.)
In other news, publicly traded ArvinMeritor Inc. (NYSE:ARM) overcame a year-long sale process, announcing Thursday an agreement to sell its stakes in two light-vehicle businesses that have been on the block since October 2008.
The Troy, Mich., company agreed to offload its 57% stake in a vehicle suspension unit to joint venture partner Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Co., along with a 51% stake in Gabriel de Venezuela, which manufactures parts for countries throughout South America. The two businesses made up around 45% of the company’s 2008 chassis sales.
Values for the light-vehicle businesses were not disclosed, but any progress that suppliers make in this volatile sector does hold some weight. Alan Baum, an analyst at the Planning Edge Inc. in Birmingham, Mich., said divesting these particular units adjusts ArvinMeritor’s focus back to its core, even though they were small pieces of the overall operation.
But good things don’t always come to those who wait.
Fellow auto parts maker Lear Corp. (NYSE:LEA) has been exploring ways to restructure its debt out of court. However, debtholders are now bracing for a bankruptcy filing as soon as this week. The Southfield, Mich.-based company is in breach of debt covenants with its largest lenders. (The Deal Pipeline subscribers can read more about Lear’s potential bankruptcy here.)