Automotive News reports that long-time Ford supplier Visteon should exit bankruptcy by October after 15 long months in reorganization. If all goes according to play, Visteon should exit Chapter 11 with less debt, more diversity of clientele and a healthier auto industry to sustain future success. Visteon's reorganization plan got the thumbs up from a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware on August 31, complete with $700 million in cash and $2 billion less debt than when it entered Chapter 11 protection.
But Visteon's lower debt load comes at a price to both shareholders and the company's once sprawling assets. While shareholders will receive only two percent of the new Visteon, the company will shed many of its North American factories. Ford's former parts arm will drop non-core businesses and instead concentrate only on interiors, electronics and powertrain controls. At the same time, Visteon has worked hard to rely less on Ford to supply the bulk of its work. Right now the supplier is doing more work for Hyundai and Kia, with The Blue Oval coming in at a close second. The news is also good for Ford, which has bailed out with billions of dollars in cash and, we're sure, a few no-bid contracts over the past 10 years.
The slowly recovering auto industry should also be of help to Visteon's short-term stability. Not only is the supplier smaller and more concentrated than before, but the industry has inched forward to sales that are projected to an annual volume of 11.7 million units. That's about 1.5 million more cars and trucks than were sold during 2009. Visteon lost $201 million during the second quarter, due mostly to $236 million in bankruptcy-related charges.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req. | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]