DETROIT - As Delphi Corp. tries to craft a plan to exit U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection, investment companies are kicking the tires of the struggling auto supplier with an eye toward buying.
Among the interested is buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC, according to Bloomberg News. Last month Ripplewood engineered a deal to acquire Metaldyne Corp. via Ripplewood-owned Asahi Tec Corp. of Japan.
Ripplewood's pursuit of Delphi is being led by Tom Stallkamp, a Ripplewood partner and the former president of Chrysler Corp.
Ripplewood is considering a bid to buy all of Delphi, according to The Wall Street Journal. The bid could be more than $10 billion, the newspaper said.
Delphi ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of top 100 global original-equipment auto suppliers, with estimated parts sales of $22.59 billion in 2005.
Ripplewood and Delphi officials would not comment on the reports.
Other buyout firms interested in at least a part of Delphi are Cerberus Capital Management LP and Appaloosa Management LP, Bloomberg News reported.
Meanwhile, Akebono Brake Industry Co. on Monday, Oct. 23, denied an Automotive News report that the supplier was considering a bid for Delphi's brake operations.
"We're not studying any such possibility at the moment," a spokeswoman at Akebono Brake said.
Brakes are one of several major business lines that Delphi has deemed noncore and is selling or preparing for sale as it restructures in Chapter 11. Sales of the products to be divested totaled more than $6.2 billion in 2005.
But Akebono and Delphi share a long history. They had a 19-year U.S. brake joint venture called Ambrake until 2005, when Delphi sold its 50 percent stake to Akebono.
Delphi's brake business generated about $2.26 billion in 2005 sales from several plants in Dayton, Ohio, and others in Sandusky, Ohio, and Saginaw, Mich., according to figures in Delphi's Chapter 11 filings. Operating losses in 2005 from brake products plants in Dayton, Sandusky and Saginaw totaled more than $354 million.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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