News has come to light that at risk premium German kitchens brand Warendorf is set to be rescued by an investor from the Far East.
Warendorf was placed into administration on March 11, citing “liquidity” problems as the reason for the insolvency proceedings but according to latest Kbb news reports, word from the administrators in Germany has filtered through to the Warendorf dealer network and the wider Kbb sector.
Administrator Pluta Rechtsanwalts GmbH in Germany has said that it has been in several talks with a number of parties whom are interested in buying into Warendorf . The ‘talks’ are now believed to be at an advanced stage and it has been suggested that “agreed exclusivity with an investor” has been agreed with the help of Dortmund-based CVM Capital Value Management GmbH.
The administrator Pluta Rechtsanwalts statement said: “We have now agreed on exclusivity with one investor. This investor came up with the best binding offer and presented the most feasible concept.”
It is believed that the investor has also granted a loan in return for negotiating exclusivity in order to secure production for July as part of the rescue deal, which will be of some comfort to the dealers and their customers at what is obviously an uncertain time in terms of delivering on the kitchens already sold and awaiting delivery.
According to some sources, under German insolvency laws June was the last month when staff would have to have been paid. The new loan has helped to secure production and pay the wages of the staff (needed to fulfil production) until the deal is done, which is expected to be completed by the end of July.
Administrator Stefan Meyer said his team was clarifying further details of the contract,“At the moment, we are in the process of clarifying further details of the contract. This process is very time consuming as there are still diverse and even complex issues to be solved. But we are confident that we will be able to sign the contract in the near future,”
Although there has been no details leaked as to the identity of the Far East investor they are described as being a renowned company active on an international scale.
Whether that international activity is in the Kbb sector remains to be seen but given a report that the ‘investor’ has had several years of close business ties with Warendorf Die Küche, and the ‘investor’ is known to Warendorf, must give the wider Warendorf network some hope that the brand will survive.
Warendorf Die Küche managing director Stefan Hofemeier commented: “I am convinced that this investor’s solution, which is currently being discussed in exclusive and final negotiations, offers our company the best prospects of success in a hotly contested market in both the medium and long term.”
Warendorf, which was founded in 1973, is currently owned by investment company CoBe Capital, which itself saved the company from insolvency only as far back as 2016.
However, it must be said that whilst the premium German kitchen market is highly dominated by the likes of Nobilia and Schuller, Warendorf is a more premium brand and as such, it has been argued that its core clientele are high earning homeowners, whom are at present seeing the bubble deflate from their London property values.