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Battenfeld Injection Moulding Files For Insolvency
Jan 04, 2008

Austrian machinery company says move due to unexpected sale.

Following what it described as a “surprising and unexpected” change in ownership, Austrian-based machine business Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen (BKU) said it has applied for insolvency today.

Employees at the injection moulding machine manufacturer, which employs 630 people worldwide including 472 at its Kottingbrunn headquarters near Vienna, have been given redundancy notices.

Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen (BKU) was sold in December by previous owner, Munich-based Adcuram, to the British-registered financial investor OOD Private Equity, which was itself only formed in November 2007. Employees were informed of the sale by email on 28 December.

BKU’s management seems to have been caught off-guard by the sale. In a statement today it said the insolvency step had become necessary “because a surprising and unexpected change in ownership had endangered the existence of the company”. It added that it is making efforts with the liquidator to “re-launch the company on a solid basis, possibly with new investors”.

Law firm FWP Fellner Wratzfeld Partner has been appointed to advise on the restructuring measures. These could include reduction of production costs by concentration on main product areas and increasing added value.

The company added that it also wants to regain control over its Battenfeld Service Gruppe (BKS) service and spare parts business in Meinerzhagen and Kottingbrunn, which was set up in August as a separate company and is still owned by Adcuram. The prices charged by BKS are thought to be key to BKU being able to cover the production costs of the machines it makes.

Austrian newspaper Kurier quotes the union representative at BKU saying that the news had struck “like a bombshell, we were nor prepared for it”. The newspaper also quoted the industry minister of the state of Lower Austria, Ernest Gabmann, saying that the main problem was the fact that the new “British” owner is unknown and is keeping its intentions secret.

The sole director of London-based OOD Private Equity named in the UK register of companies is Matthias Bell, a 31-year old with an address in Munich, Germany.