Warendorf to be saved by Hong Kong investor ‘in next few days’

The administrators for German kitchen firm Warendorf – Die Küche have announced that the Hong Kong-based investor that signed a purchase agreement to buy the company on June 11 will legally take over the business “in the next few days”.

The new company will be called Warendorf Küchenfabrik GmbH and former chief executive of Warendorf – Die Küche, Stefan Hofemeier, will take over as sole managing director of the new company.

In a statement today from administrators Pluta Rechtsanwalts, it was confirmed that the unnamed Hong Kong-based investor has agreed to take over the business following the formal approval by the administrators and the creditors’ committee appointed by the Münster Local Court.

The administrators said the full legal handover is expected to happen by the middle of July.

The statement said that all conditions contained in the previously signed purchase agreement had been met, with the exception of a restructuring agreement, and works agreement based upon it.

Pluta did reveal, however, that, after intensive and “tough” negotiations with Warendorf’s works council, staff numbers at Warendorf would be reduced by 21 in anticipation of the later transfer of the business.

The chief executive of the Hong Kong-based investor said of the deal: “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.”

Insolvency administrator Stefan Meyer commented: “With the great support of all those involved, first and foremost the works council, the IG Metall trade union and its advisors, but also the representatives and advisors of the purchaser, we have successfully managed to unite a number of very demanding and extremely challenging conditions among many parties involved in a very short space of time and to bring together different streams of interest.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved once again for their hard but always fair and constructive negotiations. I consider the missing signatures under the collective restructuring agreement to be a mere formality. In my opinion, the responsible head of the IG Metall office is of the same opinion. It goes without saying that we accept that the purchaser would like to wait for this in accordance with the contractual regulations.

“Since Monday morning we have been preparing everything for the formal and legal transition, which will take place with economic effect from July 1, 2019 after the decision by the IG Metall committee expected for the next few days, with the necessary delimitations such as, for example, the inventory. I am firmly convinced that the formal and legal transfer of business operations to the purchaser will take place by the middle of July 2019 at the latest.”

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