27 Automotive Suppliers File Chapter 11 Bankruptcies in 2009; End of Year Status Summary; Likelihood of Bankruptcy Preference Recovery

Pressures in the global automotive industry forced 27 FN1 automotive parts and component manufacturers and 2 automakers to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009.  The number of filings is only the headline of the story.  While estimated trade creditor distributions on prepetition claims swung the spectrum of 100% to 0%, estimated recoveries of less than 2 percent predominate.  And more trade creditor pain looms in several bankruptcies, as bankruptcy preference action recoveries are either included in liquidation budgets, are necessary to avoid administrative insolvency or are likely to be sought by plan administrators and liquidation trustees.

This article provides a comprehensive list of the 27 automotive supplier Chapter 11 bankruptcies in 2009, together with status at the end of 2009, estimated trade creditor recoveries and the potential for avoidance actions.

Recticel Interiors Bankruptcy – Background, Petition Information and Assessment of Direction

Recticel North America, Inc. (“Recticel NA”) and its subsidiary, Recticel Interiors North America, LLC (“Recticel Interiors”), filed bankruptcy on October 29, 2009 with the express aim of terminating the automotive parts supply contracts with its two largest customers – Johnson Controls, Inc. and Inteva Products, LLC.  According to the debtors’ affidavit filed with the petitions, due to pricing issues, the supply contracts with these two customers alone had caused the debtors’ to incur “losses, on average, of approximately $600,000 per month on account of the Johnson Agreement and approximately $265,000 per month on account of the Inteva Agreement… .”

The following post provides basic identifying information about the bankruptcy, summarizes the debtors’ business, describes the debtors’ corporate structure, and gives a brief initial assessment of the direction of the bankruptcy.