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Budd Co. Files for Bankruptcy Protection

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Budd Co., the former auto supplier and builder of streamlined stainless steel passenger train cars, has filed for Chapter 11 protection in a bid to modify its pension obligations.

The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago describes a company that has no employees and no longer manufactures anything. Budd says it has more than $1 billion in debt and $500 million in assets.

The 102-year-old company says it faces more than $800 million in retiree benefit liabilities and has $384 million in cash.

Budd has been credited with developing the first all-steel railroad cars and passenger car bodies. In its heyday, the company supplied carmakers with frames, suspension parts, wheels, steel body panels and plastic components. The company was acquired by Thyssen AG in 1978.

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