Feldmuehle Uetersen had initiated insolvency proceedings in January and was bought five months later by Feldmuehle GmbH, an acquisition vehicle founded by Kairos Industries, a subsidiary of Berlin-based private equity company Beteiligungsgesellschaft.
However, on Monday (20 November) Feldmuehle GmbH filed for an application to open its own insolvency proceedings, although this time under its own administration, at the Pinneberg Local Court.
The court ordered the provisional self-administration on the same day and Dietmar Penzlin of Schmidt-Jortzig Petersen Penzlin in Hamburg was appointed as provisional administrator.
While Penzlin will examine the economic situation and supervise the management, the company’s management team will continue to run the business.
In a statement Feldmuehle said it “has been adversely and unforeseeably affected this current year by unexpected increased energy costs and procurement prices for raw materials”.
It added while its management has implemented “extensive measures” to increase operating profitability, price increases had been outstripped by rising costs and the business had been further impacted by lower than expected sales in September and October 2018.
“Considering these circumstances, the management has decided to carry out the necessary reorganisation/restructuring of the company within the framework of insolvency proceedings under its own administration,” the statement continued.
The company said that its business operations will continue and that restructuring under the framework of self-administration gives its management “the opportunity to undertake and respectively implement all necessary measures to improve profitability and thus to take measures towards the company's sustainable competitiveness”.
Producing around 250,000 tonnes of paper a year at its mill, just west of Hamburg, Feldmuehle has a history stretching back to 1904. It became an independent mill again in 2015, after Stora Enso completed the sale of the business to German private equity fund Perusa Partners.
Specialising in the production of high-quality graphic, label and packaging papers for the German and international markets, the company runs two paper machines and currently employs 400 staff.