Indiana Company Celebrates Resurgence From Bankruptcy
Remy International stock trades on NASDAQ for the first time
(photo courtesy of NASDAQ)
Five years ago, it was in bankruptcy. Today, a company based in Pendleton that makes starters and alternators celebrated a milestone in its comeback - a listing on the NASDAQ.
Listen to Ray Steele's interview with Remy International CEO John Weber:
Remy International traded on the exchange for the first time Monday, with President and CEO John Weber ringing the opening bell. He says a change in the culture of the company formerly owned by General Motors is the reason it is still around to be listed on a major stock exchange.
Weber says the company's business has been picking up, particularly for components for hybrid-engines. He says many governments around the world are moving toward the use of alternative-fuel or hybrid-powered vehicles, "commercial vehicles, or buses or garbage trucks, where they drive them about a100,000 miles a year, and there's lots of starts and stops. That's an application that makes a tremendous amount of sense for our technology and our applications."
Like several other companies in the automotive industry, Remy, founded in 1896, was on the verge of collapse. "We had to take it through a restructuring five years ago. We've been building the business over the past five years, and the focus on the company is not growth. The focus is profitable growth."
Weber says a team effort, which included across-the-board pay cuts - and larger pay cuts for upper-level executives than for lower-level employees, helped save Remy. Weber says he tries to remind employees of how close they came to breaking up every day they come to work. Remy's Pendleton headquarters is the former home of another General Motors-spinoff, the Guide Lamp Company. Guide Lamp closed in 2007 after 101 years of operation. "We were able to say to people, if we make the right sacrifices, we can be proud of who we are five years from now or ten years from now. If we don't, look around this Guide Lamp building that we're occupying today, because the people who were here in this building before us, their whole company and their future went away," said Weber.
Remy International employs more than 6,500 worldwide, including around 400 in Indiana at its Pendleton headquarters and another facility in Anderson. The company had traded on the OTC, or over-the-counter, exchange prior to being accepted by NASDAQ. It closed it's first day of trading on the exchange at $16.00, down from an opening price of $16.45.