News from manroland in Germany: company to split, many jobs lost

manroland-decision-sm“Our shared goal was to place the company in the hands of investors who are interested in its long-term, independent continuation,” said insolvency administrator Werner Schneider after the creditors’ committee meeting in Augsburg, Germany. Negotiations have been under heavy time pressure in order to have a solution in place before preliminary insolvency proceedings end on January 31.

manroland is the biggest manufacturer of newspaper printing machines, however, orders fell by 50 percent between 2006 and 2010. In December, the company filed for insolvency.

At the creditors’ committee meeting, an amicable solution was reached. Here are some details:

manroland-decision-lgAugsburg Facility (webfed printing systems):
manroland is selling its Augsburg web press facility to L. Possehl & Co., a family-owned manufacturing conglomerate based in northern Germany. Bloomberg News reports that Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based buyout firm, had submitted a bid for all of manroland’s units. However, Possehl was faster and had already held negotiations with worker representatives. Approximately 1,500 of 2,200 workers will be able to keep their jobs at the Augsburg location.

Offenbach Facility (sheetfed printing systems):
The offset facility at Offenbach will be restructured in the course of a management buyout in cooperation with an unnamed investor. Shanghai Electric Group Co., which – according to Bloomberg News – was also reportedly interested in buying all of manroland, may now still be interested in bidding for the Offenbach plant. Out of 1,760 employees, only about 750 will keep their jobs.

Plauen Facility (manufacturing & assembly):
The factory in Plauen will be outsourced as a new company, initially to be taken over by manroland management and Schneider. Several companies have said they are interested in the site, according to Schneider. The assembly operations in Plauen will be supported by supply contracts from Augsburg, and Possehl may still be interested in taking over this site as well. 290 positions from its 680-strong workforce will remain at the company.

All parties to the creditors’ committee meeting agreed to remain silent on the purchase price for the company.