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USA: New investors consider Delphi stake

By just-auto.com editorial team | 3 July 2009

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is among those considering a bid for the assets of bankrupt Delphi Corp, according to Reuters citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

The sources added that hedge fund Elliott Management was also preparing a credit bid for Delphi, which was spun off by General Motors in 1999 and the interest by both investors could complicate an effort by the supplier giant to complete a deal to sell its assets to GM and private equity firm Platinum Equity.

Ross declined to comment to Reuters which noted he is no stranger to the auto business, having built an interiors supplier in part by combining the business of the former Collins & Aikman and the interiors business of Lear.

Ross also has been known as a consolidator in other distressed industries, such as steel and coal.

Delphi went into bankruptcy four years ago and, as part of a deal brokered by the Obama administration's autos task force, GM would take over Delphi's steering business and four other US plants. The rest of the Delphi business, which includes its international operations, would be sold to Platinum in a US$3.6bn deal.

Platinum said it was confident its bid would be approved by the bankruptcy court overseeing the Delphi reorganisation.

In a statement filed with the bankruptcy court last month, Delphi chief financial officer John Sheehan supported the proposed Platinum deal but Elliott Management opposed the Platinum offer on the grounds it undervalues Delphi's assets and has said it would make a credit bid using the amount it is owed under Delphi's bankruptcy loan.

Through affiliate firms, Elliott purchased a large share of Delphi's debtor-in-possession financing in the secondary market in June, according to people with knowledge of the transaction. The amount of Delphi's bankruptcy loan held by Elliott has not been disclosed.