Woosh, the Money’s Gone: Garrett Files for Bankruptcy

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Garrett Motion

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U.S. auto-parts manufacturer Garrett Motion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the weekend. The announcement comes as ex-parent Honeywell International decided it could do without turbochargers and spun the company off in 2018. Garrett claims it lost a bunch of money during coronavirus lockdowns, like so many others, and was dumped by Honeywell only to be saddled with financial liabilities related to asbestos-exposure claims.

But Garrett has also said it’s entering into a purchase agreement with the private equity firm KPS Capital Partners LP for roughly $2.1 billion, providing more than a shred of hope things will turn out okay. While other firms can take a whack at buying the turbo supplier, they must be willing to cover its corporate debt by exceeding the existing bid and will likewise be subject to court approval. Garrett thinks it can still come out on top and wrap the sale by the start of 2021 without interrupting production any more than the pandemic already has.

According to Reuters, the forced-induction firm has been seeking court approval for a $250 million financing facility that should help see it through the restructuring process without inuring any downtime. Garrett has listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion and $10 billion, as per documents filed with the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

From Reuters:

Automakers have been severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak, as they had to shutter factories, which led to a slump in production and disrupted supply chains.

“…the financial strains of the heavy debt load and liabilities we inherited in the spin-off from Honeywell — all exacerbated by COVID-19 — have created a significant long-term burden on our business,” Chief Executive Officer Olivier Rabiller said in a statement.

While the coronavirus has made a convenient excuse for all manner of screw-ups and shenanigans, it’s frequently a valid one when it comes to losing money. But Honeywell claims Garrett is using the pandemic and its bankruptcy as a way to “to avoid the legitimate and reasonable financial commitments” the company assumed when they parted ways. “Garrett always has been capable of fulfilling those obligations with the assets it received in the spin-off,” Honeywell the former parent company said in a statement.

[Image: Garrett Motion]

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