DETROIT -- Auto parts supplier Tower Automotive Inc. has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to reject the lease on its global headquarters in Novi, Mich.
Company spokesman Joel Weiden would not comment on the Friday, Feb. 10, motion, but said: "There are no plans at all to move the headquarters."
The lease is scheduled to run through Oct. 2, 2007. Tower pays $6,596.54 a month on the property. Bankruptcy court documents list Harrison Properties LLC, of Corydon, Ind., as the lessor. The rejection becomes effective Feb. 28 unless an objection is filed.
The filing doesn't include the headquarters of Tower's North American operations nearby. Weiden said that lease rejections are common in bankruptcies to negotiate better deals.
Tower is the word's largest manufacturer of vehicle frames. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York in February 2005. It already has asked the court if it can reject a variety of its union contracts. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for Feb. 27. The UAW and other Tower unions have voted to strike at nine plants around the Midwest if that motion gets approved.
Tower is an important supplier to General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group, which account for 73.4 percent of its North American business. The UAW and two other unions recently voted to authorize a strike if Tower voids its union contracts.
Tower Automotive ranks No. 45 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.20 billion in 2004. It supplies structural components, assemblies and suspension modules.
You may e-mail Greg Migliore at [email protected]