▪ Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH takes over the businesses of Beissbarth GmbH as a subsidiary of Stertil B.V. as of January 1st, 2023
▪ operative phase of the self-administration proceedings of Beissbarth GmbH thus successfully completed
▪ 100 jobs and Munich location are retained
Munich. On January 1st, 2023, Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH has taken over the businesses of Beissbarth GmbH, which has been undergoing self-administration proceedings since July 2022. The company will thus in future belong to the Stertil Group, a part of Citadel Enterprises based in Kootstertille, the Netherlands. With the sale of the businesses to Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH, Beissbarth can report a successful completion of the reorganization and thus continue the company’s history of more than 120 years.
Beissbarth manufactures modern testing and service equipment for automotive workshops that meets the ever-increasing standards of the automotive industry. For decades, the focus has been on wheel alignment, brake testers, suspension testers and products for tire service.
With around 800 employees and annual sales of over EUR 200 million, Stertil Group manufactures and sells products for the lifting and loading platform industry worldwide. In February 2022, Stertil Group acquired the Baden-Württemberg-based lifting platform manufacturer Nussbaum. With the purchase of Beissbarth, Stertil is further expanding its product portfolio in the automotive workshop environment.
Beissbarth GmbH has been in self-administration proceedings since July 1st, 2022, with its management supported by restructuring expert Jean-Olivier Boghossian as Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO). The Munich Local Court also appointed the Munich restructuring expert and specialist lawyer for insolvency and restructuring law Dr. Matthias Hofmann from the law firm Pohlmann Hofmann as custodian (“Sachwalter”) and set up a creditors’ committee. The company could be continued beyond the opening of the self-administration proceedings on October 1st, 2022, despite the currently tense overall economic situation.
Within the framework of a structured M&A process, which was responsibly advised by Falkensteg partner Jonas Eckhardt and his team, Stertil B.V. ultimately prevailed. With the approval of the creditors’ committee, Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH, which was founded by Stertil B.V. for this purpose, was able to take over the company as of January 1st, 2023 as part of a company sale without any legacy financial burdens. Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH intends to seamlessly continue the cooperation with its worldwide customers and business partners from its location in Munich. The business itself has thus left the insolvency phase on January 1st, 2023. However, the previous legal entity Beissbarth GmbH will continue to be wound up in self-administration proceedings in order to serve the creditors from the proceeds of the sale of the company and the liquidation of unsold assets. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
Gary Palmer, the CEO of the former and also of the current Beissbarth company, is convinced of the solution found: “With Stertil Group as our new owners we now have the ideal partner for the future development of the Beissbarth brand and business. I firmly believe that working in concert with the Stertil.
Group and Nussbaum management teams we can finally enable the full potential of Beissbarth products already known for their quality and excellence across the globe. After a year of very tough times for the Beissbarth team we are all thrilled and re-energised to embrace the opportunities that lay ahead of us.
The CRO Jean-Olivier Boghossian adds: “In terms of complexity, the restructuring of Beissbarth is certainly one of the most challenging mandates of my 25 years as a restructuring lawyer. In the past six months, all those involved had to go to their professional and personal limits in terms of time and content in order to cross the finish line of this challenging marathon together. One can wish those, which carry the baton of the Beissbarth history now into the further future, only the best, so that the enterprise, which received on 14.04.1899 the first car license plate of the world “No. 1” remains “leader” of the industry.”
Matthias Hofmann, who closely accompanied the proceedings as custodian (“Sachwalter”) in the interest of the creditors, is also positive: “The past months have been very challenging for the Beissbarth team. I am all the more pleased that, with a lot of effort and good teamwork, a good solution has now been found for all parties involved. The management, general representative, executives, works council and many employees have all pulled together to achieve this result. Many business and contractual partners have also supported the company through the period of self-administration. Without this joint effort, the turnaround would not have been possible, so my thanks go to everyone involved.”
On the basis of a social plan negotiated with the Works Council, 24 of the original 150 employees of Beissbarth GmbH transfered to an employment and qualification company at the turn of the year. 15 employees were taken over by the service provider TecService 360 GmbH, which will be responsible for maintenance and service in the future. Beissbarth Automotive Testing Solutions GmbH started with a reduced, but nevertheless powerful team of 85 employees. CEO Gary Palmer: “Unfortunately the reduction of personnel was absolutely necessary, we needed to right size and reposition the Beissbarth organisation in order to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving marketplace. The needs of the future automotive workshop will be quite different to those of today. Nevertheless the fact that we had to say goodbye to a number of our employees hurts personally. However, we have worked hard and in close coordination with the workers council to develop a respectful and supportive solution that has the interests of those departing colleagues in focus over the months to come.”
About DORNBACH Dornbach GmbH is a Germany-wide and international group of companies in the areas of auditing, tax advice, legal advice and management consulting. The group of companies has over 550 employees at 21 locations in Germany. According to the Lünendonk study, DORNBACH is regularly among the 15 leading auditing firms and is one of the top 10 owner-managed professional firms in Germany.
The restructuring desk of the DORNBACH Group can draw on extensive interdisciplinary expertise. Jean-Olivier Boghossian has been working as a specialist lawyer for insolvency and restructuring law in the areas of reorganization, restructuring and insolvency for over 25 years. For further information: www.dornbach.de
About POHLMANN HOFMANN
Pohlmann Hofmann is one of the leading law firms for insolvency administration and self administration in Germany with more than 60 employees, of which around 20 are professionals, and with several offices in South Germany. The firm’s activities focus on restructuring and reorganization measures in insolvency proceedings, the support of self-administration and protective shield proceedings, the handling of criminal insolvencies and the handling and support of insolvency proceedings with complex legal problems. For further information: www.pohlmannhofmann.de
FalkenSteg advises deciders of European industry and service companies as well as international associated companies in the fields of corporate finance, debt advisory, restructuring and real estate. Focusing on special situations, FalkenSteg stands for established implementation competence, operative excellence and close-knit relationships at eye level. The advisory specialist accompanies clients through turn-arounds, including financing projects, real estate management, M&A transactions as well as advising insolvency proceedings. FalkenSteg employs more than 60 experts nationwide. For further information: www.falkensteg.com