J.L. French Approved to Access $50 Million

March 5, 2006
DIP financing to provide working capital for diecaster

J.L. French Automotive Castings Inc., in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since February 10, reports that it has received federal bankruptcy court approval to access the full $50 million of the debtor-in-possession financing it has arranged. Earlier, J.L. French agreed with its unsecured creditors committee on the latter's objections to the terms of the financing. The money is intended to be used as working capital.

Sheboygan, WI-based J.L. French is a privately held manufacturer of aluminum high-pressure diecastings for automotive components and assemblies. Its products include including oil pans, engine front covers, engine blocks, and transmission cases.

The company reports that virtually all of its vendors and customers have supported its bankruptcy strategy, which coincided with an agreement with debtholders and a plan to repay in full approximately $295 million in first-lien debt, and conversion of $170 million in second-lien debt into equity and warrants. The plan is to reduce overall corporate debt by approximately $300 million, remove $200 million in preferred securities from the balance sheet, and reorganize as quickly as possible.

J.L. French further aims to increase investment in its core business after restructuring.