Livingstone’s distressed M&A team exclusively advised the management of Franz Wölfer Elektromaschinenfabrik Osnabrück GmbH on the sale to MENZEL Elektromotoren GmbH, Berlin, via an insolvency plan.
Franz Wölfer Elektromaschinenfabrik Osnabrück GmbH, founded in 1945, is a market-leading manufacturer of electric motors for use in lifting technology, in and on ships as well as in general mechanical engineering. The core business of the company, which distinguishes itself through its expertise in craftsmanship, is the production of customised (special) motors, which have a high depth of added value. The production of both highly heat and cold resistant electric motors takes place exclusively in Germany.
On January 17, 2019, the management filed for insolvency at Osnabrück District Court. Lawyer Stefan Meyer, PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH, Osnabrück, has been appointed as preliminary trustee. The reason for the bankruptcy was essentially the financial situation of the company. Franz Wölfer runs project business, which in some cases requires high prefinancing expenses over a long period of time. Despite the good order situation, the financial resources to produce the orders were recently insufficient.
With the approval of the preliminary trustee, the management mandated Livingstone to carry out a structured M&A process at the end of January 2019.
“I am very happy that we found a good solution for the traditional company and all the employees within only five months after the filing for self-administration. The Management consistently and resolutely implemented the required restructuring measures – now we are able to start again,” says lawyer Silvio Höfer from anchor Rechtsanwälte, who runs the company together with managing director Josef Winkels.
In the course of self-administration, business operations were fully maintained and stabilised and necessary restructuring measures were implemented. The Menzel Group, headquartered in Berlin, takes over the majority of the shares. It’s an ideal investor and partner for Franz Wölfer and strengthens the financial situation, extends the know-how and offers high synergy effects for both companies. “I am convinced of the potential of this family-owned company because I see progressive, high-quality products, excellent customer relationships and a highly motivated and committed workforce,” says Mathis Menzel, Managing Director of the Menzel Group. The Menzel Group was successfully advised by lawyer Mr. Köhler-Ma of GT Restructuring, Berlin.
All 85 employees keep their jobs. “I am glad that we have been able to obtain a broad acquisition interest for Franz Wölfer within the M&A process, which was optimally tailored to the market and company situation. With the Menzel Group, a good solution could be found both for the creditors and for Franz Wölfer,” explains attorney Stefan Meyer.
Dr. André Schröer, Partner at Livingstone, adds: “With the Menzel Group, we have found an investor and at the same time a perfect partner for the company, that not only promises an outstanding strategic fit, but also a future vision for Franz Wölfer.”