DETROIT -- Delphi Corp. entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month owing General Motors about $1.2 billion.
But the fact that GM is Delphi's largest unsecured creditor didn't get the auto company on the committee of unsecured creditors that U.S bankruptcy trustee Deirdre Martini appointed last week.
Martini did not return two phone calls last week.
The court created the committee of unsecured creditors to give creditors a say in how the money they're owed will be protected and eventually paid in whole or in part.
Unsecured creditors hold debt that is not guaranteed by collateral. They typically get paid later and less in the bankruptcy reorganization process than creditors with claims secured by collateral.
GM won't comment about being left off the committee, except to say that the automaker is cooperating with Delphi while the giant parts supplier reorganizes, said GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski.
Delphi, of Troy, Mich., sells GM about $14 billion in parts annually, representing half the supplier's global sales. That $14 billion is 16.3 percent of GM's $86 billion annual global parts buy.
Including the $1.2 billion unsecured debt, GM's ultimate liability from the Delphi bankruptcy could approach $13.2 billion. In an Oct. 17 press release, GM said its potential pension and health care liabilities from former GM employees who transferred to Delphi in 1999 could range from $0 to $12 billion, depending on various negotiations with several parties and bankruptcy court rulings. GM the week before said that liability would max out at $11 billion.
Dubrowski said about $800 million of the $1.2 billion Delphi owes GM is a retiree health care obligation for about 7,400 Delphi workers who went to work at GM when jobs opened during the early years of the spinoff.
Delphi was created in 1999 when GM spun the parts operations into a separate public company. GM holds no Delphi stock or bonds, Dubrowski said.
As part of the spinoff, Delphi workers were able to return to GM if a job became available. But in recent years there has been no flow back because GM has more workers than positions.
Dubrowski said the remaining $400 million that Delphi owes GM includes warranty claims and a variety of other costs arising from doing business.
He said warranty claims were normal given the magnitude of business that GM does with Delphi.
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