Grede Foundries has asked the federal court overseeing its bankruptcy process to approve a timeline for an auction of the company, saying it has a “stalking horse” bid. Milwaukee-based Grede filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in late June, and accepted interim financing from Wayzata Investment Partners L.L.C., a Wayzata, MN, private-equity group. As reportedly agreed at that time, an affiliate of Wayzata submitted the opening bid. “Additional parties have expressed a strong interest in purchasing our company, and our request to the court is the next step in the process that we expect will lead to a sale of the company to the highest bidder before the year’s end,” stated Grede chairman Richard Koenings. “The reorganization efforts we have undertaken in the last five months have strengthened our company and returned it to profitability, which has attracted the interest we have seen. The agreement with Wayzata and the setting of the auction schedule puts our organization in a strong position to emerge from bankruptcy by year end as we have targeted.” Grede is proposing that the auction should be concluded by December 9, with the sale closing by December 31, 2009. Koenings said the foundry group’s restructuring and indications of an economic rebound mean that the time is right to execute the asset sale. Grede’s Vassar, MI, and Greewood, SC, foundries will not be included in the asset sale, though Koenings said the Vassar operation may be sold separately as a going business. It had been marked for shutdown last summer. The Grede foundry in Greenwood, SC, also was set for closing, but it too may have a separate buyer.