Despite an urgent protest by its home state of Michigan, a federal bankruptcy judge, in New York, has given the initial go-ahead to plans to sell the vast majority of assets of Chrysler. It was a clear victory for the Obama Administration, which is betting on a swift reorganization of the company, and an indication that the judge agrees to the need for speed.
Wrapping up a full day of testimony and debate, Judge Arthur Gonzales approved a “clear and orderly” bidding process that is expected to result in the troubled automaker’s emerging from Chapter 11 under the control of Italy’s Fiat SpA.
Bids for Chrysler’s assets must be submitted by May 20, Judge Gonzales declared, with a final sale hearing scheduled for one week later. The final sale could take place in as little as 30 days afterward. Barring a subsequent legal setback, this would give both Chrysler and the U.S. Treasury Department precisely what they wanted – a quick and orderly march through the bankruptcy process that would be as minimally disruptive as possible. (more…)