Battery maker with Manchester plant files Chapter 11 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Battery maker with Manchester plant files Chapter 11

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Exide Technologies, a battery maker with a manufacturing facility in Manchester, has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for reorganization because of the increase in cost of scrap lead. Exide Technologies, a battery maker with a manufacturing facility in Manchester, has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for reorganization because of the increase in cost of scrap lead.
MILTON, Ga. (KWWL) -

Exide Technologies, a battery maker with a manufacturing facility in Manchester, has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for reorganization because of the increase in cost of scrap lead.

According to a website set up by Exide for the restructuring, http://exiderestructures.com, the company has recently been "burdened by a highly-leveraged balance sheet," which has not allowed them to reinvest in the company.

In an effort to strengthen their balance sheet, Exide -- as part of a restructuring plan -- filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 reorganization on Monday for their U.S. operations only.

The company points to an increased cost for scrap lead in North America as the primary reason for an increase in their production costs. They also say that they have been unable to fully offset recent operational challenges in both the U.S. and Europe.

Chapter 11 is a court-supervised restructuring or reorganization of a company's debt and operations. It prevents anyone from collecting debts owed by Exide prior to the filing date for a period of up to 18 months.

The company says that all post-filing obligations to suppliers will be paid on time. They also say that all employees will be paid.

Despite the voluntary filing, the company expects to continue to operate uninterrupted, including the Manchester facility, during the restructuring.

"Operations both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world will continue to serve customers in a timely manner with the same quality products, and outstanding customer care as they did before the filing," James Bolch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Exide, said in a written statement. "All post-filing obligations to U.S. suppliers will be paid on time and within terms.

"We intend to pay U.S. employees as usual and do not expect any material changes to their benefits," he added. "Outside of the U.S., obligations to employees and suppliers will not be impacted by the filing."

On Tuesday, the court approved a $500 million debtor-in-possession financing facility to aid in the restructuring effort. That financing, along with cash generated by daily operations and cash on hand, will be used to fund expenses generated after the filing date.

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