Jonathon Wagstaff

Wagstaff: ‘Alno will survive’

Former Alno UK chief executive Jonathon Wagstaff has quashed rumours surrounding the Alno AG insolvency and insisted that production is restarting.

Speaking exclusively to kbbreview, Wagstaff (pictured), who has stepped down from his role but will continue in the business until the end of September, has reassured dealers that the UK arm of Alno will not be affected by the insolvency process in Germany.

He also confirmed that the Enger factory, which produces kitchen furniture for Wellmann, is on annual vacation shutdown, but will resume production in week 32.

“The UK dealers are sourcing from Alno UK, which is not insolvent,” he explained. “Alno AG is still manufacturing kitchens, and therefore we have a supply chain, providing kitchens to the UK market. I think we need to remember that the insolvency officers in Germany are working towards a future for Alno AG.”

Wagstaff said he believed the business would survive, adding that the restarting of the production facilities was “positive news” for the future.

However, he did agree that there had been “overcapacity in Germany for some time”.

A chief administration officer and chief restructuring officer were appointed by the court on July 14 after Alno AG had placed itself into self-administration, and on July 21, the company secured €9 million of ‘mezze-finance’ to assist with the restructuring process.

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“Alno AG’s negotiations with the majority of their suppliers were successful,” he explained, “meaning production materials were ordered and deliveries commenced, allowing production to recommence on July 27, 2017, in Pfullendorf.”

However, negotiations with a major creditor of Alno’s entry-level brand Pino had failed, resulting in the management applying to the court for self-administered insolvency.

“The process is supported by the local and regional governments,” he argued. “Indeed, if the courts did not believe there was a good chance of success, the self-administered process would not have been allowed.”

On the future of the two factories in Germany, Wagstaff added: “The restructuring teams will put together a plan and communicate over the coming weeks. In the meantime, production will begin at each.”

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