Wedel / Nürtingen / Sheboygan, WI – As per the end of September, Papersystems Holding and the two companies E.C.H. Will and Kugler-Womako officially leave the insolvency protection proceedings that were put in place end of June. With Körber AG and the investors’ group headed by Orlando Management AG having reached agreement on reacquiring the shares in Papersystems and its subsidiaries E.C.H. Will, Kugler-Womako and Pemco, an important prerequisite was created at the beginning of this month for the aversion of insolvency and for a positive outlook for the three companies.
“This is a very remarkable success,” says Berthold Brinkmann, who has been accompanying the Papersystems group as its temporary trustee during the past three months. “In practice only very few firms manage, within the short duration of the insolvency protection proceedings, to set up an effective financial rescue plan and concept for the future without having to commence actual insolvency proceedings.”
The CEO of the Papersystems group, Alexander Wassermann, explains the future strategy: “After this exhausting period all three companies can now look ahead with their old parent company Körber at their side. And in the future too, the group will be continuing to offer its customers worldwide the comprehensive product portfolio to which they have become accustomed. But we have also understood the message of our customers and will continue to concentrate more on machine upgrades and retrofits, spare parts and technical services.”
The US-based company Pemco, which works profitably, was never affected by the insolvency protection proceedings. Not only there, but also at the German locations, business operations have been continuing at full volume and with fresh orders in the past three months.
Daniel Walk, Managing Director of E.C.H. Will, is relieved that the insolvency proceedings have been averted and that it has been possible to set course for a return to the path of success: “The three months of insolvency protection proceedings have been an enormous burden on our employees. I am very grateful that we have been able to get through this time together.” The concept that has been elaborated for the future and the savings and cost reductions which have been achieved are enabling the company based in Wedel to make sure it is well prepared for future fluctuations on the paper market – an important competitive advantage.
However, this would not have been possible without some measures affecting the workforce. “I truly regret that we have had to part with some long-serving and competent employees. Happily, more than a third of them have at least been able to be taken on by Körber AG companies,” Walk explains.
In the months to come, the company can settle down again and work can be continued at full speed on the orders that have been received for this year and next.
Despite consistently positive business performance, Kugler-Womako was reluctantly forced to file for insolvency protection proceedings due to being part of a pooled financing model with E.C.H. Will. “The insolvency protection proceedings have led to significant uncertainty among our customers and suppliers and cost our company a lot of money and time,” says Managing Director Christoph Golombek. “Although incoming orders have continued according to plan, we are relieved at being able to work more easily again and to continue to confirm the confidence our customers have placed in us.”
As the market's leading manufacturer of passport production lines, Kugler-Womako is not as strongly affected by fluctuations in the paper industry as its sister company in Wedel. Having left the insolvency protection proceedings, and with this month’s record order intake, the company from Nürtingen is well equipped for the future.