Kaiser Aluminum Corp. filed a reorganization plan on Wednesday that projects emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the fourth quarter.
Under the plan, the emerging company would be majority owned by two groups of retired employees.
The groups were created in 2004 for salaried and hourly retirees whose medical plans were canceled. The rest of the equity would be distributed to creditors, while pre-bankruptcy shareholders would be wiped out.
The plan would also resolve pre-petition claims ranging from asbestos-related lawsuits to debt and retiree benefits.
All pre-petition personal injury claims related to asbestos, silica, coal tar pitch or hearing loss would be would be permanently resolved through the formation of trusts coming from certain Kaiser insurance policies.
The Foothill Ranch-company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2002, citing a slowdown in the aluminum industry after the Sept. 11 terrrorist attacts.
Kaiser had also been plagued by asbestos litigation and increasing obligations for retiree medical and pension costs.
In a press release Wednesday, President and Chief Executive Jack A. Hockema said his company, which produces fabricated aluminum for the aerospace and automotive industries, would return to long-term profitability and emerge "with a solid financial position, a strong balance sheet and the capability to grow in our key transportation and industrial markets."
The plan, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, requires approval by Kaiser's creditors and the court.
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