Diepersdorf / Brno
The insolvency administrator of the automotive supplier BOLTA-WERKE, Volker Böhm of Schultze & Braun, has sold the company’s business operations to a strategic investor. The buyer is the Winning Group a.s., through its subsidiary Winning Plastics a.s., a German-Czech industrial group specialising in automotive and construction. The Winning Group has acquired the business operations of both BOLTA-WERKE and Bolta Bundle. BOLTA-WERKE and Bolta Bundle, headquartered in Diepersdorf near Nuremberg, also maintain production sites in Gottmadingen (near Constance, Baden-Württemberg) and Gütersloh (North Rhine-Westphalia), all of which will be retained. Volker Böhm: “I am particularly pleased that we were able to retain all locations and around 850 jobs through the sale.” BOLTA-WERKE is the largest employer in the Nuremberg region.
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The creditors have already approved the takeover. The sale does not include the foreign companies in Tuscaloosa (USA) and Puebla (Mexico), neither of which were part of the insolvency proceedings.
The takeover marks the successful conclusion of an international investor process initiated by insolvency administrator Böhm immediately after the insolvency application. Volker Böhm: “The Winning Group is the ideal partner for BOLTA-WERKE: a strategic investor with a long-term perspective and a great interest in the further development of BOLTA-WERKE.” Winning intends to integrate BOLTA-WERKE into the Winning Plastics Business Unit. The cooperation of the Winning Group companies will create a high synergy potential. In future, BOLTA-WERKE will operate under the name “Winning Plastics – Diepersdorf GmbH”. The change of the company name is also intended to open a new, successful chapter in the company’s history.
Company stabilised and material supply secured
The sale of BOLTA-WERKE is the culmination of insolvency proceedings that were burdened by extremely difficult conditions from the very beginning. To begin with, the Corona crisis paralysed much of the German automotive supply industry, exacerbated by supply bottlenecks for semiconductors. This was followed by the limited availability of important materials such as metals and plastics. And finally, since February 2022, the Ukraine crisis has also weighed heavily on business at BOLTA-WERKE.
Nevertheless, after the insolvency application, insolvency administrator Böhm, together with the management, had succeeded in stabilising the business operations within a short period of time and continuing them throughout the insolvency proceedings. In view of the strained initial situation, Böhm had immediately implemented targeted restructuring measures. These included the realisation of short-term savings potential and the improvement of productivity. Further measures served to secure the supply of materials despite worldwide delivery bottlenecks and to convince the customers of BOLTA-WERKE to continue working with BOLTA-WERKE.
“The staff played a decisive role in the successful sale to the Winning Group,” Böhm emphasised. “They continued to work with great commitment for several months in what was a very challenging situation for them. The works council and IGBCE also played a very constructive role in the restructuring.” Böhm also emphasised the contribution of the customers: “The customers from the automotive industry accompanied the process very constructively the whole time. This targeted interaction between the parties involved was decisive in ensuring that BOLTA-WERKE could be preserved.” In this context, the insolvency administrator also thanked the local politicians for their support. He named District Administrator Armin Kroder on behalf of others.
Steady growth of the Winning Group to 300 million euros turnover
The Winning Group, headquartered in Brno, Czech Republic, aims to create a leading company in the automotive and construction industries through organic growth and targeted acquisitions. The owner-managed group was founded in 2016 and plans to achieve a total consolidated turnover of around €300 million in 2022 with 14 group companies. Winning employed 2,300 people worldwide before the acquisition of BOLTA-WERKE. Most recently, Winning acquired the German automotive suppliers PWK and Räuchle, among others.
“We are very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the insolvency administration,” said Sebastian P. Wagner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Winning Group a.s., “This purchase is a significant step forward for Winning Group and its growth path in the automotive industry. Winning Plastics – Diepersdorf together with our existing Winning Plastics sites will be able to leverage great synergies and become one of the leading and healthy players in the European surface finished plastic parts market. We would also like to thank the customers and suppliers for their continued support and patience and specifically the Bolta workforce for their contribution in supporting the transaction and ensuring the turnaround of the operation. We are confident that together we will be able to effectively develop the business and create significant growth, even in the current complicated environment.”
BOLTA-WERKE filed for insolvency at the end of September 2021. According to the management, the reason was the continuing semiconductor crisis. As a direct consequence, some customers had postponed their call-offs. This led to a massive drop in turnover at BOLTA-WERKE, which could not be absorbed financially.
BOLTA-WERKE develops and produces surface-finished components. The customers are mainly from the automotive industry, including numerous premium brands. The product range includes type plates, trim strips, and decorative elements, but also large and complex components such as radiator grilles. The company currently employs about 850 people at its German sites in Diepersdorf, Gütersloh and Gottmadingen. Last year, the BOLTA Group generated a total turnover of around 230 million euros worldwide.