Montag, 08.07.2019, 12:00 Uhr Warendorf

Sold to Hong Kong investor

Warendorf - die Küche now in Chinese hands. On 11 June, the purchase contract was concluded with an Asian investor based in Hong Kong. The new operative legal entity will be the newly founded and sufficiently capitalised Warendorf Küchenfabrik GmbH. The creditors' committee appointed in the proceedings by the Münster Local Court unanimously approved the purchase agreement with the investor. Stefan Hofemeier as future managing director will manage the business of the rescue company as sole managing director after the transfer. The investor has been on site in Warendorf with management personnel since the weekend and will actively support the transfer to the buyer during the transition phase.

"I have known the company as a customer for years and am convinced of its product and quality. A kitchen of the Warendorf brand with the 'Made in Germany' award has very high potential in the Far East, which we will be able to increase even further with our very good sales contacts," says the investor's CEO.

As communicated both internally and externally immediately after the contract was signed, there were a number of conditions precedent that had to be met before the contract could be legally finalised. The parties have agreed not to disclose the details of the contractual conditions and the economic framework data. Nevertheless, it may be reported that almost all conditions of the purchase agreement have been fulfilled. The only exception is the formal conclusion of the restructuring agreement and a works agreement based on it. Here it was not possible for purely temporal reasons to get a signature on the part of the contracting parties under the collective agreement. The Executive Board of IG Metall in Frankfurt must approve the negotiated result of the negotiations, which was supported by a large majority at a general meeting and signed by the parties to the collective agreement. This was virtually impossible in June 2019. Since the text of the collective agreement will be identical to the result of the negotiations, all parties involved are certain that it is a matter of pure formality until the last formal hurdle has been cleared in a few days and a legal transfer to the purchasers will also take place. Nevertheless, after the last formal (legal) condition has been met, the economic effective date is to remain retroactively at 1 July 2019.

All parties involved (in particular employees, customers and suppliers) were informed accordingly yesterday. Following intensive negotiations with the works council (reconciliation of interests and social plan), which were tough on the substance but binding, fair and constructive in their dealings, the insolvency administrator reduced the workforce by 21 employees in anticipation of the later transfer of business, which will not take place until the last formal condition is met within the next few days. In preparation for the occurrence of the last condition and the transfer of the business to the purchaser, an inventory was carried out; the other demarcation work was also initiated in preparation. The employees were informed of all details at a works meeting.

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