Vitro: buyer for US operations if ruled in Chapter 11

Mexican glassmaker Vitro SAB, that defaulted on USD 1.2 billion of bonds, will be looking for a buyer for its US business if a bankruptcy judge declares the US units in Chapter 11, according to Alejan…

Mexican glassmaker Vitro SAB, that defaulted on USD 1.2 billion of bonds, will be looking for a buyer for its US business if a bankruptcy judge declares the US units in Chapter 11, according to Alejandro Sanchez, Vitro“s legal director, in a release on 1 April. According to the release: “The US operations have few assets, including two small glass processing plants and distribution networks, and would face liquidation without a buyer, Sanchez said. Vitro got USD 250 million in sales last year from the US, where it employs 3,000 people, he said. We“re looking for alternatives so it doesn“t have to be liquidated, Sanchez said. If you have someone who“s willing to invest, you give peace of mind to your workers, your suppliers and your customers. Vitro defaulted on about USD 1.5 billion of debt, including the US bonds, in February 2009 after racking up derivative losses of more than USD 300 million and because of a global recession that slashed demand for auto and construction glass. Creditors also have petitioned a Mexican court to declare the company in Mexico“s equivalent of Chapter 11. The legal action in the US won“t recover anything for creditors, Sanchez said. The assets Vitro has in the US will only cover guaranteed loans, such as from Bank of America Corp., and the USD 9 million that Vitro has pumped into the money-losing operations since November, he said. There will be nothing left, he said. We“re literally talking peanuts. Vitro sells replacement windshields and glass for buildings in the US. By avoiding liquidation, Vitro may have an opportunity to repurchase the business once the company“s financial difficulties are resolved, he said. This is a business that“s fundamental for selling our products in the US, he said.