Risk & Compliance

Investors Say Vote on Delphi Exit Plan Is Rigged

Senior noteholders reportedly aim to nix the plan, which could cause yet another delay in the company's climb out of bankruptcy.
Stephen TaubJanuary 15, 2008

A group of investors is opposing Delphi Corp.’s reorganization plan, which could further delay the auto parts company’s emergence from bankruptcy.

The investor group, which is composed of senior noteholders, asserts that the plan provides an unacceptable windfall to another investor group led by hedge fund Appaloosa Management LP, the Associated Press reported.

The noteholders, who are owed about $2.3 billion, allege that Delphi has concocted a voting mechanism designed to “rig” balloting and win support from creditors despite the noteholders’ objections, according to the AP.

“Not only does the plan lack the support of the senior noteholders, who are receiving drastically less than a full recovery while junior creditors are receiving many millions of dollars, but it also fails to satisfy the relevant provisions of the bankruptcy code,” the investors reportedly said.

Delphi filed for Chapter 11 in October 2005, and had planned to emerge from bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2008.

However, in early December Delphi asked for three additional months to get its reorganization process under control. In papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York back in December, the company said the credit crunch had made it much harder to obtain exit financing.

Delphi also wants to delay until late May the deadline to obtain creditors’ support for its reorganization plan. The company plans to begin hearings on Thursday to confirm the plan, the AP reported.

“Because the debtors have not secured the necessary funding commitments, they cannot assure that they can make the necessary plan distributions, nor can they assure adequate cash flow to fund continuing operations,” the bondholders said, according to the wire service.

The bondholders who filed the objection are Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC, Elliott Associates LP, Nomura Corporate Research & Asset Management Inc., Northeast Investors Trust, and Whitebox Advisors LLC.

The AP noted that under Delphi’s bankruptcy plan, the investors are expected to receive new stock and the right to participate in a discount rights offering. The bondholders reportedly called the assertion that they will see a full recovery on their investment “a transparent fiction” because Delphi is relying on an estimate of its value that is “stale and outdated.”