Germany's Peguform GmbH finally is making its way out of insolvency after more than two years under court control.
New York investment group Cerberus Capital Management LP completed a deal Dec. 1 to buy the auto supplier. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cerberus officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The deal should not have any direct impact on former parent company Venture Holdings Co. LLC's Chapter 11 case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, said Joel Applebaum, a Detroit lawyer who represents some Venture creditors. Money probably will not flow into Venture's coffers unless there are funds available after Peguform pays off its debtors in Europe.
Venture has not had control of Peguform and has been cut off from its funds since the German unit entered insolvency in May 2002.
Peguform, based in Botzingen, Germany, ranks itself as Europe's largest maker of plastic auto components, producing more than 1.4 billion euros ($1.87 billion) in parts annually. The injection molder makes everything from front-end systems to entire car interiors.
Venture purchased the firm in 1999 for nearly $450 million as part of a global growth strategy. But Peguform executives in Germany petitioned for insolvency without Venture's approval in 2002, after the company lost a key line of credit.
Peguform has continued to operate with support from automakers, and in fact continued to win new business even as parent Venture suffered, entering Chapter 11 protection in March 2003.
``It's almost as if the Europeans looked at it as if this were just a temporary thing for Peguform,'' said Jim Gillette, director of supplier analysis for CSM Worldwide, a Northville, Mich.-based consulting group. ``They took the concept that they knew that Peguform was a good, solid German company that got into a bad situation.''