Auto Parts Maker Contech Files for Chapter 11

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Auto parts maker Contech LLC said on Friday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a downturn in the automobile industry.

The company, which makes light-weight cast components for cars and trucks, plans to use the bankruptcy process to sell noncore operations, adjust operating costs and reduce its debt obligations.

The company said in a statement it is in discussions with its lenders and key customers to arrange interim financing.

Contech said in court documents that sales had fallen nearly 30 percent in 2008 to $222.8 million from $312 million in 2007.

The company had been spun off from SPX Corp (SPW.N) and sold to Marathon Automotive Group, LLC, a company formed by Marathon Asset Management, LLC, for about $146 million in cash.

The case is In re Contech U.S., LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan, No. 09-42392.

(Reporting by Emily Chasan; Editing by Gary Hill)