Manroland break-up to begin with Augsburg sale
By Simon Nias Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Manroland's administrator has confirmed that the break-up of the German manufacturer will begin on Wednesday (1 February) with the sale of the Augsburg web offset facility.
The Augsburg plant will be sold to the €2bn (£1.7bn) turnover Possehl Group in accordance with the plan put to Manroland's creditors last week by the administrator Werner Schneider.
Of the remaining two sites, Plauen will continue to be run by the administrator, although it is expected that this will also be sold to Possehl at an unspecified later date; no reason was given for the delay.
Meanwhile, the Offenbach sheetfed site remains the subject of an MBO bid, rumoured to be led by executive vice president of sheetfed sales Rafael Penuela and executive vice president of sheetfed print services Marco Faulhaber.
Sources indicated that the MBO team was working with the administrator to identify suitable investors to back the deal; a spokesman for the administrator said he could not comment on the details of the MBO bid.
He added that Schneider was "continuing to look for investors and hopeful [for] a quick solution".
With further details expected to be announced tomorrow and Thursday (1-2 February), speculation remains rife about the future shape and size of the sheetfed business and of the overseas market organisations such as Manroland GB.
Zelf Hussain of Pricewaterhousecoopers, joint administrator of Manroland GB, said: "We still continue as normal. We haven't actually felt the affect of what they are trying to do in Germany because they haven't clarified where they want to be. There has been a lot of conjecture, but that hasn't been clarified.
"We expect to follow them, with a bit of a delay. At some point they will say 'this is what we want to do across the world' and the UK will somehow fit into that. I expect things to begin to change for us from next week."
The administrator has already confirmed that almost half of Manroland's German workforce will be cut, with 1,473 remaining at Augsburg, 740 at Offenbach and 300 at Plauen, compared with 4,700 across the three sites prior to the insolvency.
Sources claimed that the sheetfed business could scale back production by up to a third and might even exit the B2 market to concentrate on B1 and larger formats.
A spokesman for the administrator said plans for the sheetfed business such as future manufacturing strategy were "a little bit early to explain".
Meanwhile, it is understood that Manroland's printcom consumables business is being wound down, with manufacturing partners such as Trelleborg already moving to set up separate distribution deals.Tweet
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