Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Grede Goes Chapter XI


Wauwatosa-based Grede Foundries Inc. has filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it has an offer for financing until the company could be sold.

...Grede said Wayzata Investment Partners LLC has offered a $45 million temporary loan to allow it time for an orderly, court-supervised sale. The investment firm in Wayzata, Minn., has also agreed to make the first bid for Grede, the 89-year-old foundry company said.

The Company is closely-held, with most of the upper management and ownership being members of the Grede and Jacobs families. It has not always been peaceful:

Last year, dissident shareholders in privately held Grede tried to oust longtime Chief Executive Officer Bruce E. Jacobs. That effort appeared to have been beaten back, but in January, the board named Koenings chairman and began a search to replace Jacobs. A month later, Thomas F. Walker Sr., the head of a management consulting firm in Lake Geneva, replaced Jacobs

The BK will have an impact on a lot of Milwaukee-area organizations if the Wayzata firm is successful in its quest to purchase the Company. HQ relocations are never, ever good for the city that loses the HQ.

Beyond that:

Grede says the economic downturn, and particularly troubles in the beleaguered auto industry, pushed the company into bankruptcy court. Among Grede's customers are General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. Chrysler said in May in its own bankruptcy case that it owed Grede $2.2 million.

Yah--and Cat and Deere. This is a serious recession, folks.

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