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Vitro Allowed to Auction Assets of U.S. Units in Bankruptcy

Vitro SAB, the Mexican glassmaker that defaulted on $1.2 billion in bonds, won court approval to sell assets of U.S. units in bankruptcy that rival bidders are vying for.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Houser in Dallas ruled at a hearing today that Vitro can auction its Vitro America and Super Sky Products assets. The company has a deal to sell the assets to private-equity firm Grey Mountain Partners for $44 million subject to higher bids. Sun Capital Partners, another private equity firm that owns a Vitro competitor, offered $45 million.

Vitro put the units into bankruptcy last month amid a fight with bondholders that tried to force Vitro subsidiaries into bankruptcy following the company’s default.

Vitro creditors asked Houser to postpone the hearing, saying the company was rushing to sell without ensuring it was getting the best price. They also called the deal with Grey Mountain “deeply flawed” in a court filing.

Creditors pointed to a statement by Vitro’s parent when it released earnings that Vitro America is a strategic business and that the parent “is considering maintaining an ownership participation” in the unit after the sale.

Abid Qureshi, a lawyer for the committee, said at the hearing that negotiations between Vitro’s parent and Grey Mountain are ongoing.

“It’s disturbing to say the least,” he said.

Sun Capital Partners, which owns Vitro competitor Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., has offered to acquire Vitro America and other units for $45 million and will provide bankruptcy financing, according to a court filing.

Vitro said in court papers that Sun Capital’s bid isn’t superior and that it has no assurance that the offer isn’t just designed to delay the sale process and gain an edge over its competitor.

The case is In re Vitro Asset Corp., 10-47470, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in New York at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.

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