Mercury plans Chapter 11
Chicago-based Mercury Finance Co. said Friday, May 15, that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the next 60 days. It will file a reorganization plan at that time, it said.
The plan hands all the company's stock to a group of 40 to 60 senior creditors. Between stock and debt issues, those creditors are expected to be paid 100 percent, the company said.
Mercury also will give certain shareholders warrants that can be cashed in for stock corresponding to the full value of their claims - provided Mercury's share price rises high enough.
Mercury disclosed in early 1997 that it had overstated its 1996 earnings. That was one of the first shocks in an intense shake-out in subprime auto finance.
AutoConnect opens on Web
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - AutoConnect, a used-car Web site formed by Manheim Auctions and the Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing Inc., opens to the public today, May 18.
The Web site has 5,500 auto dealers signed up. It is patterned after newspaper classified ads. Dealers list cars for free, and the site will be supported by display advertising. Consumers can list their used vehicles for sale. The site lists about 250,000 vehicles for sale.
AutoConnect, whose Web site is autoconnect.com, said here Friday, May 15, that it will sponsor the race car of Formula Ford 2000 driver Greg Lemond, a former champion bicycle racer.
Safety group has tough plan
WASHINGTON - An automaker-backed safety organization late last week put finishing touches on a plan for stepped-up enforcement this week of seat-belt and child-safety-seat laws across the country.
While encouraging police to give tickets to customers may not sound like the best business practice, industry officials said helping to prevent injuries and deaths, especially among children, is the right thing to do.
'We don't want to be punitive,' said Robert Lange, executive director of safety engineering for General Motors. But, he added, 'Forty percent of children still ride wholly unrestrained.'
The industry-supported group, Air Bag Safety Campaign, has enlisted law-enforcement agencies nationwide to set up safety checkpoints, conduct saturation patrols and strictly enforce child-safety laws throughout the week of May 18-25.
Peregrine names officers
DETROIT - The new owner of auto supplier Peregrine Inc. has named two top officers.
James Bonsal is CEO, and David Rawden is executive vice president and CFO. Both had been with Jay Alix & Associates. Alix, a corporate turnaround artist, completed the acquisition of Peregrine last week. Peregrine, of Southfield, Mich., had been owned by Joseph, Littlejohn & Levy, a New York investment group.
Details of the deal were not disclosed. Peregrine was created by the spinoff of four Delphi Automotive Systems parts plants in 1996.