After customer orders plummeted as a result of the global chip crisis, Räuchle GmbH & Co. KG, founded in 1902, was forced to file for insolvency for the second time last October. The restructuring expert Dr. Holger Leichtle, a partner in the business law firm GÖRG, was then appointed by the district court of Ulm as the company’s insolvency administrator. His colleague Simone Kaldenbach, also a partner at GÖRG, was appointed administrator of the general partner.
At the beginning of the process, it seemed difficult to find someone interested in taking over the business operations and thus finding a viable solution for the continuation of the company. Due to the second bankruptcy within a few years, the company did not receive any bankruptcy money. Key employees – especially executives including the managing director – left the company shortly after the application was submitted and had to be replaced. Suppliers and employees were very demotivated. The continuation of operations, including the wages of the employees, could be ensured by quickly concluding continuation agreements with the customers. Together with the creditors’ committee, an M&A process was set up under the leadership of Schneider Geiwitz. Thanks to the close cooperation between the insolvency administrator, M&A consultant, customers, main creditor, works council and IG Metall, a sustainable solution has now been found for the company and most of the employees: The Winning Group a.s. acquires the assets of the insolvent Räuchle GmbH & Co. KG required to continue as of May 1st, 2022. Thanks to the takeover, the Dietenheim company and its employees have a future again.
In the course of restructuring, the business operations of the insolvent automotive supplier will be continued in full at the location with almost all employees under the newly founded company “Winning CoFo – Räuchle GmbH” as part of the Winning Group. The employees who were to be made redundant were given the opportunity to switch to a transfer company. Only one employment relationship had to be terminated by notice.
The acquisition is part of Winning Group’s strategy to build a diversified, multi-technology components supplier in the automotive supply industry, offering its customers high-quality components in e-mobility-ready market segments.
“We are very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with the insolvency administration,” said Sebastian P. Wagner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Winning Group a.s., “This purchase is a significant step forward for the Winning Group and its growth path in the automotive industry. We also thank customers and suppliers for their continued support and patience, and special thanks to the Räuchle workforce for their contribution in supporting the transaction and ensuring the turnaround of operations. We are confident of effectively evolving operations and creating significant market share growth.”
The purchase demonstrates the Winning Group’s focus on manufacturing innovation and advanced process capabilities.
“I am very satisfied that we were able to find such an excellent solution for Räuchle in such a short time,” said insolvency administrator Holger Leichtle about the takeover. “Thanks to the enormous commitment and the great and goal-oriented cooperation of everyone involved, the location is now ready for the future again and the employees have sustainable prospects.”
Eustachio DiPelo, union secretary of IG Metall Ulm, is also satisfied: “We are very happy with this result. Above all, I would like to thank the insolvency administrator and his team for the good cooperation and tireless commitment. The trade union and the works council were involved in the developments at all times and treated as equals. That is not something that can be taken for granted nowadays.” To strengthen and qualify employees in the future, IG Metall has anchored an employee innovation process in the new collective agreement, in which IG Metall works with the workforce to work out central problems and develop solutions for them.
The Winning Group was supported in the transaction by Deloitte Legal.
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