Livingstone’s special situations practice has exclusively advised insolvency administrator Markus Birkmann of law firm BBL Brockdorff & Partner (BBL) on the sale of Dortmunder Blankstahl GmbH to the global leader in steel production, ArcelorMittal. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Dortmunder Blankstahl GmbH (DBS), based in Dortmund, Germany, was founded in 1975 and is one of the leading suppliers in the European steel industry for drawn bright steel. With a production capacity of up to 100,000 tons per year, DBS offers drawn bright steel in virtually all alloyed and unalloyed cold-formable steel grades. In addition, the product portfolio includes drawn bars as round, square or hexagonal steel, tool steel, and free-cutting steel for numerous applications. Customers include well-known automotive suppliers, among others. In the fiscal year 2019, the company still generated annual sales of approximately EUR 44 million (53m USD), which decreased significantly to approximately EUR 24 million (29m USD) last year, primarily due to the crisis.
By order of the District Court Dortmund dated January 22, 2021, attorney Markus Birkmann was appointed provisional insolvency administrator, and proceedings were opened on April 1, 2021. “We were nevertheless able to ensure the continuation of operations in full,” stated attorney Marvin Bauernfeind from BBL, who supported the insolvency administration.
Reasons for DBS’s predicament include the Corona crisis and liquidity shortages. The goal of the insolvency administrator and the management was to find a continuation solution for the company. Livingstone was mandated to set up a structured M&A process to identify an investor.
ArcelorMittal takes over DBS in a transferring reorganization. All 82 jobs remain unchanged.
“This transaction secures the future of the company, and its employees, allowing business operations to continue undisturbed,” emphasized insolvency administrator Markus Birkmann. He added, “We are pleased the Livingstone team around Dr. André Schröer we were able to achieve a remarkable result in a short period despite difficult corona conditions.”
“We are pleased with the successful transaction and appreciate the trust the insolvency administration and the creditors placed in us to support them in an advisory capacity in this process. The M&A process was both exciting and challenging, not least against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic. We are pleased for DBS and its employees that with AcelorMittal a high-caliber strategic investor could be identified,” said Dr. André Schröer, Partner at Livingstone in Düsseldorf.
“We wish DBS and ArcelorMittal a dynamic further development and a successful future based on this thriving transaction,” added Alexander Stock, Director at Livingstone in Düsseldorf.