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GSK Stockmann advises Austrian Starlinger Group on acquisition of insolvent Maplan

The industrial equipment manufacturer from Vienna will take over major assets from the insolvency of the machinery manufacturer from Schwerin saving 94 jobs in the process.

A success for GSK Stockmann’s restructuring team. The team surrounding lawyers Andreas Dimmling from Munich and Dr. Raoul Kreide from Heidelberg provided extensive counsel to the Austrian Starlinger Group on the complex acquisition of major assets from the insolvent Maplan Maschining GmbH in Schwerin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

Team leader Andreas Dimmling explains: “The transaction was complicated because the North German machinery manufacturer Maplan had gone into insolvency for the second time in only a few months. Under tremendous time pressure, our client therefore had to negotiate not only with the insolvency administrator for the ongoing first insolvency proceedings but also the administrator for the second, more recent insolvency proceedings and with a third party that had already acquired various Maplan machines in the meantime and reach contractual agreements with all three. At the same time, it was naturally important to Starlinger that the employees who were part of the deal were moved from a transitional company to the new Maplan company and that for the future, contractual arrangements with the trade union IG Metall were reached in the form of an inhouse collective agreement.”

Starlinger’s bid prevailed over others in the eyes of insolvency administrator Münzel and the creditors’ board because the Austrians provided the best proposal for creditors and employees. The purchase price is confidential. Of the remaining 146 Maplan workers, 85 employees and all nine apprentices will be kept on for new business operations that will proceed under the name “uniRota Maplan Schwerin”.

A transitional company was established for the other workers that offers professional development courses and job placement assistance until the end of March 2018. Starlinger’s Hannes Vorderwinkler is confident: “Maplan’s expertise fits our portfolio perfectly. The employees in Schwerin are highly motivated; together we aim to get back on track very shortly.”

Maplan has a long tradition as a machinery manufacturer in north-eastern Germany. It emerged from the largest company in Schwerin during the GDR era, the Plast-maschinenwerk. The company manufactures rotationally symmetrical parts for plastics machinery manufacturing (e.g. extruder screws) and machine parts for ships and wind turbines. The Starlinger Group is active worldwide as a family-owned machinery manufacturer with headquarters in Vienna. The company’s turnover in 2016/2017 was approx. EUR 210 million. Among other things, Starlinger Group manufactures precision winders and machinery to produce woven plastic sacks and recycling equipment.

Advisor Starlinger:
GSK Stockmann: Andreas Dimmling (Lead), Wolfgang Böhm, Dr. Philipp Kuhn (both Employment), Dr. Maximilian Schilling (Real Estate), Dr. Dirk Koch (Tax), Dr. Raoul Kreide (Restructuring, Corporate); Associates: Leonie-Isabelle Raymann von Loefen, Daniela Riedinger (both Restructuring, Corporate), Dr. Gregor Höng, Esther Seibt-Pfitzner (both Tax), Kerstin Franke (Real Estate), Dr. Jan Bernd Seeger (Public Sector).

Starlinger Inhouse:
Rudolf Schiedlbauer (Head of Legal Department), Angelika Huemer (CEO), Wolfgang Stidl (CFO), Hannes Vorderwinkler (COO)

More involved:
Liquidator Maplan Maschining GmbH: Stephan Münzel and Stefan Musfeldt (both Lawyers at Münzel & Böhm)

Liquidator Maplan Maschinenfabrik und Anlagen für Kunststofftechnik Schwerin GmbH: Reinhold Schmid-Sperber (Reimer Rechtsanwälte)

IG Metall: Stefan Schad (IG Metall)

Tax consultant Starlinger-Group: Peter Basedow (Johannsen, Basedow & Partner)


Background information:
GSK Stockmann has been advising the Starlinger Group on individual questions of German law for several years, but this was the first time that GSK provided Starlinger with counsel regarding the acquisition of a company. The good relationship between Andreas Dimmling and his team to Starlinger’s legal department and management was key in this development.