Federal-Mogul Corp., involved in one of the longest-running bankruptcy cases in auto industry history, is poised to exit court protection.
A federal judge has said she could soon approve Federal-Moguls reorganization plan, according to company spokeswoman Jennifer Rass. That would free the company to exit Chapter 11 creditor protection.
Judge Judith Fitzgerald of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has indicated that she will sign off on the order confirming Federal-Moguls exit plan.
Company lawyers have spent years sorting through claims involving billions of dollars in liabilities for asbestos-related afflictions. The claims arose from companies acquired by Federal-Mogul during its rapid consolidation starting in the late 1990s.
Former Federal-Mogul CEO Richard Snell made that growth part of his BHAG, or Big, Hairy Audacious Goal.
Rass says U.S. District Judge Joseph Rodriguez will have the last say on the companys Chapter 11 plan. He will be asked to affirm Fitzgeralds ruling.
The suburban Detroit company must put its plan in place by midnight Dec. 31 or sit down with its banks to renegotiate pricing on $3.5 billion worth of reorganization exit financing.
The supplier of pistons, rings, cylinder liners, gaskets, heat shields and other engine parts sought Chapter 11 protection on October 1, 2001.
The company ranks No. 43 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.49 billion in fiscal 2006.