NYX Inc. is the front-runner to buy the assets of automotive molder InMold Inc. out of Chapter 11, with a bid worth an estimated $4.7 million on the table.
A final decision on who takes over the company, however, will wait until an auction can take place, probably in mid-May. That timetable gives other bidders a chance to beat the NYX proposal.
InMold is the holding company for GP Plastics Inc. of Rochester Hills, Mich., and AEP Technologies Inc. of Fraser, Mich. The business filed for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit in November. The company listed debts of more than $10 million.
InMold has about $11 million in annual sales and had an award-winning design, for a nylon 6/6 steering column bracket that replaces a magnesium part.
NYX of Livonia, Mich., was one of several companies to express an interest in the InMold holdings and has provided the strongest bid, said Thomas R. Morris, a West Bloomfield, Mich., lawyer representing InMold.
NYX's offer came through its wholly owned subsidiary, G-P Acquisition Co. LLC. Company officials were not available to comment.
"NYX emerged as a leader for the best price, for their ability to close a deal, and they're a good fit," Morris said. "The NYX offer is a good offer, but there is the opportunity for other interested people to make a bid."
NYX, owned by Chain Sandhu, has about 800 employees. It does injection molding, compounding, pipe and profile extrusion, toolmaking and steel stamping for the auto industry.
Bankruptcy Judge Walter Shapero must set the date and final rules of the auction. InMold will request that anyone seeking to beat NYX must bid a minimum of $145,000 over its offer.
If another bidder bests NYX, then NYX is guaranteed $125,000 in compensation for the time it spent investigating InMold's holdings. It also gets a chance to counter any higher or better bids.
A higher bid could provide some cash for unsecured creditors, who will get little from the existing offer, Morris said.
"The company has substantial secured debt," he said. "With the present price, it won't get beyond the secured creditors. It's very important to the company to maximize the payment to its creditors."