TOKYO (Dec. 4)—Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. will suffer a $1.61 billion special loss in 2001 and require an extra $1.3 billion in funding from Bridgestone Corp. next year, the Japanese parent company said. Even so, Bridgestone President Shigeo Watanabe predicted Bridgestone/Firestone would be profitable in 2002. In remarks reported Dec. 4 by Reuters and the Associated Press, Watanabe said the $1.3 billion infusion of capital to Bridgestone/Firestone would cut the U.S. subsidiary's interest-bearing debt load nearly in half from the current figure of $2.7 billion. Bridgestone/Firestone took an extraordinary loss of $570 million in the first half of 2001 for recall-related charges, and will write off $285 million more in the second half because of lawsuits brought by owners of allegedly defective Firestone tires, Bridgestone said. Other charges to be taken include $675 million to cover a write-down of assets, $50 million related to the closing of the Decatur, Ill., plant, and $25 million related to the Firestone Wilderness AT replacement program announced in October.
Bridgestone/Firestone expects $1.61 billion loss in 2001
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