DETROIT (Dec. 31, 2008)—Lear Corp. has paved the way to issue up to $500 million worth of new securities.
The seating systems and electronics supplier could issue the securities by selling 150 million new shares of common stock and 15 million shares of preferred stock as well as other types of securities. The proceeds would be used to fund debt obligations, investments, working capital, capital expenditures or for financing possible acquisitions, among other things.
The company filed a shelf registration statement in a form S-3 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 23. A shelf registration statement allows a publicly traded company to issue multiple types of securities in the future with only one registration statement.
Lear said in its S-3 that it doesn't plan to issue any new securities until after it reports its 2008 full-year financial results in late January.
Lear has been hit hard by the collapse of the auto industry, especially by turmoil at the Detroit 3. For example, car and truck production in North America was down 17 percent in the third quarter, but production of the 15 vehicle platforms with the highest amount of Lear products dropped 33 percent in the same period.
Sales to General Motors and Ford Motor Co. vehicle brands accounted for about 42 percent of Lear's 2007 sales.
Lear officials were not available for comment.