By Dow Jones Business News, October 16, 2013, 03:41:00 PM EDT
By Peg Brickley
Exide Technologies Inc. (XIDEQ) has been granted sole control of its Chapter 11 reorganization process through July of
A bankruptcy judge signed off Tuesday on the battery maker's request for an order barring others from proposing a
Chapter 11 reorganization plan, at least until the end of May 2014. Judge Kevin Carey signed off on the order a day in
advance of the scheduled hearing on the motion, when no opposition emerged.
Overloaded with debt, Exide filed for bankruptcy protection June 30. It has promised lenders it will deliver a
comprehensive business plan by March 10, 2014, setting the stage for talks about how to reshape its balance sheet.
Exide said it needed the protective order to stay focused on its turnaround effort without the distraction of
competing Chapter 11 plans. The bankruptcy filing gave the company a brief reprieve from creditor pressure, but
subsequent extensions of the so-called "exclusivity period," during which only Exide can propose a Chapter 11 plan, have
to be approved by the court.
The early months of Exide's case have been marked by efforts to get its key Vernon, Calif., plant reopened, after
California regulators ordered it closed as dangerous.
A maker and recycler of lead acid batteries, Exide has been the target of criticism from community groups, as well as
from regulators. A settlement reached recently with California'sDepartment of Toxic Substances Control requires Exide
to spend $7 million on the Vernon recycling operation.
Early in the bankruptcy, Exide won a temporary restraining order barring the California agency from implementing its
shutdown order. Recycling at Vernon provides Exide with a cheap source of raw material for its batteries, and the
shutdown order was cited as one of the reasons for the company's need to resort to bankruptcy for a second time.
The company owes senior lenders $675 million and other creditors more than $300 million. Apart from the debt concerns,
Exide's filing was precipitated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ( WMT ) picking a competitor as its sole battery supplier.
(Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection. Go
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