DETROIT May 13 Detroit's three automakers are
mulling a request by the city's art museum to help it raise
money for a key component of Detroit's plan to restructure its
debt and exit bankruptcy, representatives of the companies said
Under an $816 million so-called grand bargain, the Detroit
Institute of Arts (DIA) would contribute $100 million to ease
pension cuts on the city's retirees and avoid a sale of art
works to pay city creditors. The rest of the money would come
from philanthropic foundations and the state of Michigan, where
a $350 million contribution over 20 years or a $195 million lump
sum payment needs legislative approval.
"Chrysler Group is committed to playing a positive role in
Detroit's revitalization. Accordingly, we are reviewing the
DIA's request," said Chrysler spokesman Kevin Frazier
in an email.
Ford Motor Co spokesman Todd Nissen said in an email
that the automaker has been a long-time supporter of the museum.
"We are having confidential discussions with the DIA and are
considering the matter very carefully," he said.
General Motors Co spokesman Jim Cain said in an email
that the DIA was important for a revitalized Detroit.
"Both GM and the GM Foundation are giving very careful
consideration to how we can help preserve this treasure at such
a critical time," he said.
A spokeswoman for the DIA did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.
Detroit's creditors, including city workers and retirees,
will start receiving information this week on voting on the plan
to restructure $18 billion of city debt and other obligations.
That plan seeks to minimize pension cuts by tapping in to the
Starting on July 24, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes
will conduct a confirmation hearing on the plan to determine if
it is fair and feasible. On Monday, several creditors including
the U.S. government, bond holders, nearby counties and bond
insurance companies filed objections to the plan.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, additional reporting by
Karen Pierog in Chicago; editing by Matthew Lewis)