Updated from Thursday, June 25.
shares lost nearly a third what little value they have after a report in the
New York Post
indicated that the auto-parts maker may file for bankruptcy within days.
It looks increasingly unlikely that Lear will manage to negotiate a deal with its debtholders outside of bankruptcy court, the newspaper reported, citing an anonymous Lear creditor. The company has until June 30 to cobble an agreement together under a waiver it had received in May. Lear has been in violation of its debt covenants since Dec. 31.
Wall Street Journal
reports Lear is working on a pre-packaged bankruptcy before the June 30 deadline in which it must make a $38 million interest payment on two of its bonds.
If the prepackaged-bankruptcy deal falls apart, Lear could file for a traditional-style bankruptcy next week, the
reports, citing several people familiar with the situation.
Lear spokesman Mel Stephens called any talk of Lear entering Chapter 11 "speculation and rumors." He said, "There is no news from the company. The company has no comment on any of the speculation and rumors."
The market appeared to disagree. In frantic trading Thursday afternoon, Lear shares were changing hands at 61 cents, down 31%, on nearly triple the daily average volume. The stock has recovered slightly from session lows of 57 cents.
Earlier this month, the federal government
rejected an appeal by the auto-parts industry for up to $10 billion in further aid. Two suppliers have already gone bankrupt this year --
-- as parts makers struggle to survive in the face of moth-balled car factories and bankrupt motor companies.
is also widely feared to be on the brink.
filed for its own Chapter 11 protection, Lear was owed almost $45 million, making it GM's ninth largest creditor.
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