June 25, 2006 -- A federal bankruptcy court has approved J.L. French Automotive Castings Inc.’s reorganization plan, and the company indicated it will emerge from creditor protection on June 30.
The Sheboygan, WI-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as a strategy to restructure its debt. It prepared a new financial plan and gained support from most of its creditors prior to the filing.
J.L. French manufacturers high-pressure aluminum diecastings supplied as components and assemblies to automakers.
Chairman, CEO, and president Jack F. Falcon stated: "When we emerge on June 30, J.L. French will have shed $465 million in first and second-lien senior secured debt and $28.9 million in 11.5% senior subordinated unsecured notes. We will have acquired $130 million in new equity investment and $255 million in new financing.
Once the company emerges from bankruptcy, the participants in its $130-million rights offering will hold 92% of the new organization’s common stock. Holders of second-lien debt will receive the remaining 8% of new common stock to satisfy their approximately $170 million of claims.
The reorganization plan also calls for three tranches of warrants to be made available to certain creditor classes with an exercise period five years from the plan's effective date.
The $130 million of new money investment, along with a new $205 million term loan that is part of the exit facility, will pay off first-lien debt of approximately $295 million. It also will fund various costs associated with exiting bankruptcy.
The new J.L. French will have approximately $231 million in long-term debt consisting of the term loan and some $26 million in other secured debt.
The new $205-million term facility is structured as $140 million and $65 million in first- and second-lien term loans, respectively. The $255 million exit facility contains a $50-million revolver available to fund working capital needs.
“In recent months, our major customers have made new business commitments to us, and we expect to grow solidly into the future,” continued Falcon. He cited progress with development plans in Europe and China as evidence of J.L. French’s growth potential.