German machine maker Blowtec GmbH filed for receivership July 6, and the deal announced in April in which SIG Holding Ltd. would sell Blowtec to a private equity firm apparently is on the rocks.
A court-appointed trustee will help guide Blowtec through receivership, according to a story in the General-Anzeiger newspaper in Bonn, Germany.
Blowtec, based in Troisdorf, Germany, employs about 150 and generated 2003 sales of 37 million euros ($42 million). The company makes extrusion blow molding machines for polyethylene bottles and other packaging.
On April 27, Switzerland-based SIG Holding announced it would sell its two extrusion blow molding businesses, Blowtec and Kautex, to equity firm Adcuram Beteiligungs AG. Munich, Germany-based Adcuram was to acquire all shares of the two companies May 1.
The new owners did buy SIG Kautex GmbH. Kautex, based in Bonn, Germany, makes larger accumulator-head machines that produce big parts such as automotive fuel tanks, and complex parts such as ducts with both flexible and rigid sections.
A U.S. official stressed that Kautex is not involved in the court action, and remains a healthy business under new owner Adcuram.
``SIG Kautex and SIG Blowtec are two separate legal entities, both in Germany and here in the United States. The situation of Blowtec does not impact the situation and customers of Kautex,'' said Wolfgang Meyer, president of SIG Kautex Inc. and SIG Blowtec North America Inc., the U.S. operations in North Branch, N.J.
``Kautex is doing quite well at this time. Our order books are full and we expect to be profitable this year,'' Meyer said.
Meanwhile, Blowtec is trying to continue operations. Meyer said the U.S. side will continue to provide service and spare parts while the court situation unfolds.
Interviewed July 8, Meyer said he had not spoken to the trustee, who will develop an operating strategy for running Blowtec.
``We became aware of this yesterday,'' he said. ``We really don't have too much information.''
The German newspaper said reasons for the stalled Blowtec sale remain unclear. However, the paper also said that Adcuram has filed a lawsuit against SIG Holding, of Neuhausen Rhine Falls, Switzerland, charging that financial documentation that SIG provided about Blowtec was not complete. Adcuram wants the court to declare the sale null and void.
SIG Holding officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Meyer said Kautex is changing its name to Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH. The North American unit will be Kautex Machines Inc.