Bankruptcy and Public Companies and Shareholders and Accuride Corp. and Manufacturing & Technology

Shareholders in bankrupt Accuride pursuing loan

February 9, 2010

Shareholders of Accuride Corp., the bankrupt Evansville maker of wheels for trucks and trailers, won a week-long delay of the company’s reorganization schedule to develop an alternative turnaround plan built on a new $400 million loan.

Shareholders are trying to arrange the loan at 11 percent to 12 percent interest to fund the company’s exit from bankruptcy, their financial adviser Robert White told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Linehan Shannon at a Monday hearing in Wilmington, Del. Shareholders and the company will appear in court Feb. 17 to battle over which plan is better.

Robert Richards, a lawyer for shareholders, referred to the potential loan as the “Goldman take-out.” Afterward, Richards and White declined to say whether that was a reference to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Accuride and its creditors are fighting shareholders over how much the company will be worth once it exits Chapter 11. A higher value would give shareholders a better recovery. The shareholders said in court papers that Accuride is worth about $823 million, or $260 million more than the company’s estimate.

The two sides filed court papers including details of their competing proposals under seal, meaning the public can’t see them. The name of the bank that may provide an alternative exit loan was sealed, and Shannon asked lawyers and financial advisers not to mention it in court Monday.

Accuride filed for bankruptcy in October to restructure its debt. The company and 20 affiliates listed consolidated assets of $682.3 million and debts of $847 million as of Aug. 31.

Under Accuride’s plan, noteholders owed $291 million would be given 98 percent of new stock to be issued once the company leaves bankruptcy. Shareholders would get 2 percent. Accuride would also raise $140 million to help fund its exit from bankruptcy through a rights offering.

The shareholder proposal that sets a higher value for Accuride would give noteholders 73.5 percent of the new equity while still repaying them in full. Shareholders would get the remainder, according to court papers.

Under both plans, Accuride would owe more than $400 million after it exits bankruptcy, White said in court. The shareholder loan would have a higher interest rate, White said.

The company’s 8.5 percent bonds due in 2015 last traded at almost 92 cents on the dollar on Jan. 29, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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