Swiss-based heavy engineering group ABB - which has a number of West Midland subsidiaries - yesterday confirmed no objections had been filed before a key US district court deadline, clearing the way to end years of legal wrangling over an asbestos dispute.
"No objections had been filed by the February 21 deadline to the US District Court's notice of a hearing on February 28 to affirm and confirm the revised plan of reorganisation for ABB's US subsidiary, Combustion Engineering," ABB said in a statement.
ABB - which in the West Midlands has subsidiaries in Coventry, Derby, Stone and Telford - said a US judge was poised to issue a favourable ruling on its $1.4 billion (£795.4 million) asbestos plan at Tuesday's hearing.
If no appeals were filed in a 30-day period to follow, the order becomes final, ABB said.
The ruling would draw a line under the group's long-running asbestos woes and remove a major hurdle on its way back to financial health.
Combustion Engineering made industrial boilers lined with asbestos, a material which can cause cancer and other diseases.
ABB's original proposal was thrown out by a US court last year. The company then reworked the plan, adding an extra £32 million (£131.8 million) to the package.
The Swiss-based company expects its credit rating to return to investment grade within months of a final decision, restoring its financial credibility.