November 9, 2009 / 3:47 PM / in 9 years

Car parts maker Lear emerges from bankruptcy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Automobile parts maker Lear Corp LEA_w.N said on Monday that it had emerged from bankruptcy protection with less than $1 billion in debt.

The maker of seats, door panels and electrical distribution systems for cars also said its new common shares would trade on the New York Stock exchange under the symbol “LEA” in the next few days.

Lear filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 7 and worked with creditors to restructure debt and operations.

The company has cut its debt obligations by about $2.8 billion and emerges from bankruptcy with more than $1 billion in cash and no near-term debt maturities.

“Moving forward, we are committed to maintaining a disciplined financial profile and an investment grade focus that will enable us to continue investing in new products and technologies globally, as well as growth in emerging markets,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Rossiter said in a statement.

The company’s net sales backlog, a measure of expected new business, totals $1.4 billion for 2010 to 2012, Lear said.

Lear had struggled as the U.S. recession sharply cut demand for auto parts, and as its customers including General Motors GM.UL filed for bankruptcy protection. Lear has worked to expand its customer base and said that more than half of its new business comes from outside North America.


Lear reported third-quarter net income of $25 million, or 32 cents per share, as compared with a loss of $98 million, or $1.27 per share, a year ago, according to a regulator filing on Monday.

Sales were $2.55 billion in the three months ended October 3, compared with $3.13 billion in the same period a year ago.

Lear will discuss its third-quarter results on Wednesday in a conference call with analysts and investors.

The new common shares will begin trading on a “when issued” basis on Monday, with shares to begin regular trading within several days, Lear said.

Common shares issued before the bankruptcy filing are worthless, said the company.

Reporting by Chelsea Emery; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tim Dobbyn

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