By Bradford Wernle, Automotive News
London - The administrator for Collins & Aikman Corp., the financially distressed auto interiors supplier, has put the company's European businesses up for sale.
Kroll, a London restructuring company, listed the supplier's businesses for sale in a July 29 advertisement in the Financial Times newspaper.
Twenty-three businesses are for sale. The businesses - in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom - employ about 4,000 people. Revenues in 2004 were more than $1 billion.
Collins & Aikman of Troy, Mich., supplies cockpit modules, plastic-based interior and exterior parts, flooring and acoustic products, instrument panels, fabrics and acoustic components. The company supplies all major European automakers.
Collins & Aikman's European operations were put into bankruptcy administration July 15. That followed Collins & Aikman's May 17 filing for Chapter 11 reorganization for U.S. operations.
On July 15, Kroll officials said normal business operations would continue while the administrator analyzed options.
Globally, Collins & Aikman employs about 23,000 people at 100 technical centers, sales offices and manufacturing sites in 17 countries.
A spokeswoman for Kroll said that it will look at every bid, and that it is too early to tell whether companies will be sold off individually or as a group.
The proceeds from the sale may help Collins & Aikman's remaining U.S. operations.
"When the administrators have completed the realization of assets of the European group of companies, they will make a dividend to creditors," a Kroll statement said. "Our initial understanding is the U.S. group is a creditor of the European group."
In the United States, major automakers agreed to back Collins & Aikman for 90 days while new sources of financing are sought. But court documents claim the automakers already were shortchanging the supplier. The agreement expires at the end of September.
From Automotive News