RACER Trust Wins National Award for Sale that Enabled Construction of the American Center for Mobility

Sale Recognized as Information Technology Deal of the Year by The M&A Advisor

RACER Trust today announced that its sale of the former Willow Run Powertrain Plant property in Ypsilanti Township, Mich., for redevelopment as the American Center for Mobility has been selected as the Information Technology Deal of the Year by The M&A Advisor, the world’s premier leadership organization for mergers and acquisition, restructuring and corporate finance professionals.

The sale to an entity called Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership closed in November 2016, with a ceremonial groundbreaking taking place later that month. The American Center for Mobility initiated its first autonomous vehicle test in December 2017.

The M&A Advisor’s 12th Annual Turnaround Awards will be presented in March. The RACER sale is one of 20 projects to be recognized.

“We are extremely gratified for the recognition from The M&A Advisor, and even happier for the people of Ypsilanti Township and the residents, institutions and businesses of Southeast Michigan who will benefit in countless ways from the ongoing development of the American Center for Mobility,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “Accomplishing this deal required months of focused effort and cooperation of real estate, environmental and legal teams for both parties, as well as various other stakeholders including local elected officials and utility authorities. The parties involved understood the benefits and were committed throughout the process to achieving this outcome, and I am pleased to say this collaboration has continued throughout construction of the American Center for Mobility.”

The Turnaround Awards recognize individuals, transactions, products and services that were instrumental in the restructuring or reuse of distressed assets. RACER Trust took title to the former Willow Run Powertrain Plant property after General Motors relinquished it as part of the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. The RACER sale was selected as the Information Technology Deal of the Year in the under $250 million category.

“The award winners represent the best of the distressed investing and reorganization industry in 2017 and earned these honors by standing out in a group of very impressive candidates,” said David Fergusson, Co-CEO and President of The M&A Advisor. “In an environment that is increasingly demanding of its professionals we have recognized the leading transactions, firms and individuals that represent the highest levels of performance.” 

Awards will be distributed in the categories of Restructuring of the Year, Transaction of the Year, Refinancing of the Year, Sector Deal of the Year, Firm of the Year, Turnaround Product/Service of the Year and Professional of the Year.

The American Center for Mobility, which covers more than 300 acres, will become the premiere national facility for mobility and advanced automotive testing and product development. The center is uniquely positioned to accommodate the broad needs of the automotive, software, defense and insurance industries, universities and government with its capabilities to test vehicles, roads, infrastructure and communication systems, while providing room to grow and adapt as technology dictates. The American Center for Mobility will expand the region’s business incubation and acceleration capabilities while bringing great economic opportunity to Southeast Michigan and the United States. The reactivation of the Willow Run site reinforces Michigan’s global position as the automotive leader while creating new innovations that will drive the future of mobility.

About RACER Trust: RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York. For more information, please visit our website: www.racertrust.org.