Update: Encore Machinery joins rescue team for insolvent MB

Pamela Mardle
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mathias Bauerle (MB) has been saved from closure by a buyout team including its existing management team, UK distributor and an unnamed Swiss investor.

Insolvent finishing equipment manufacturer MB's UK distributor Encore Machinery, along with members of MB’s management team and its Swiss and Italian dealers, have joined the private individual in supporting the company financially and continuing to trade.

The company was handed over to the investors on 4 December, with production manager Friedhelm Bruestle becoming managing director.

The German company filed for bankruptcy on 23 July, attributing its troubles to poor sales in the quarter leading up to Drupa. Under German insolvency law, the government was paying MB’s 150 employees' salaries, but aid was due to run out on 30 November.

It is understood that, prior to the takeover announced on Monday, an investor had pulled out of taking on the company. Other interested parties had withdrawn due to the risk perceived in the print and paper handling industry.

In mid-November, the administrator, Grub Brugger's Martin Mucha, reached the conclusion that the business would need to close before the shock private investor signed the contract on Monday evening.

Mucha said: "MB was running out of business. Customers were willing to place orders but wanted a company that was not insolvent."

He officially closed the business on Friday 30 November, and trading ceased for one day at the beginning of this week before the new management opened it again on Tuesday.

The St. Georgen, southwest Germany-based company, will continue to trade "without restrictions" according to a statement from MB, and will be renamed Mathias Bauerle Falzen und Kuvertieren. 106 employees and 18 apprentices from the original workforce will continue to work at the company.

Encore Machinery owner Mike Biggs said: "I am absolutely delighted. It is never nice to have uncertainty and now the future looks bright.

"We have recently sold a hybrid mailer to Howard Hunt for example, and the idea of not being able to sell MB anymore would be frustrating considering the work that went into that project and how well it has worked.

"We have quite a few projects which we can now go full steam ahead with and can shout at the market with confidence."

Encore Machinery and the other distributors, who have all dealt with MB for over 30 years, involved in the investment will not take part in the daily running of the business.

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