Planet Gore

Another Vetting Issue in the Office of the Car Czar

Yeah, this might be a conflict of interest. New York Post:

Ron Bloom, the head of President Obama’s auto task force, is defending one of his lieutenants, who is facing questions about a potential conflict of interest in the government-brokered sale of bankrupt auto-parts supplier Delphi.

Harry Wilson, who leads the auto deals and diligence team, used to be a partner at hedge fund firm Silver Point Capital before, according to two sources, he was forced out last year following a string of bad bets that triggered significant losses for the fund.

Now multiple sources are asking whether that dismissal might be looming large over the government’s attempt to facilitate a sale of Delphi because Silver Point holds roughly $600 million in Delphi debt and is part of a group of creditors balking at a government-backed plan to sell Delphi to Los Angeles-based private-equity firm Platinum Equity Partners.

Under the terms of that deal, US-owned General Motors, Delphi’s biggest customer, was to provide $2.5 billion in financing to complete the sale to Platinum, which was expected to put up $500 million. However, a group of the creditors that provided $2.9 billion in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, including Silver Point, objected to the deal’s terms because the lender group would only get back 20 cents on the dollar.

Bloom, who this week was tapped to replace outgoing “car czar” Steven Rattner as head of the White House’s auto task force, defended the selection of Wilson and his role in the Delphi deal.

“Before Harry joined the president’s auto task force, I personally vetted him extensively by speaking with numerous former colleagues of his at Silver Point and other firms at which he had worked,” Bloom said in a statement. “I [heard] nothing but the highest accolades for his integrity, professionalism and discipline.”

To be continued. . .

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