Within the framework of the existing self-administration procedure, the business operations of Albert Horn Söhne GmbH & Co. KG (“HORN”) was transferred to a new shareholder and the initiated realignment of the company was completed. Within the scope of the transferred restructuring, around 390 jobs were saved. The purchaser is the Nedac Sorbo Group (“NEDAC”) based in the Netherlands.
HORN is a traditional supplier of greeting cards. Since its foundation in 1948, the company has developed into one of the market leaders and a recognised quality brand for the product “greeting card”. The product portfolio is complemented by an extensive range of gift wrap paper, gift ribbons and gift packaging (bags and pouches). HORN’s customers include food retailers, department stores, department stores and wholesalers in the DACH region.
In February, HORN submitted an application to commence protective shielding proceedings under debtor-in-possession management, which was approved by Wiesbaden Local Court. The aim was to consistently continue the restructuring process already begun with the assistance of the Ebner Stolz consulting company with a team led by Marcus Losch, Jan Groß and Stefan Hansen and to realign the company. The multidisciplinary restructuring team of Ebner Stolz worked out a programme of measures and provided commercial and legal support for the debtor-in-possession management. HORN also appointed insolvency expert Tillmann Peeters from the restructuring boutique Falkensteg to the management board. Dr. Jan Markus Plathner from the law firm Brinkmann & Partner accompanied the debtor-in-possession management as a trustee.
IMAP was commissioned early in the procedure to carry out a dual-track investor process. IMAP was able to identify a suitable buyer through a broad and international approach with NEDAC and to involve him in the process.
NEDAC is a distribution and trading company from Duiven in the Netherlands with further branches in Great Britain and Belgium. As a specialist in the procurement, development and supply of non-food items, NEDAC is also one of the leading companies in the greeting card industry in the Netherlands. Wouter Meijerink, CEO of NEDAC: “The strong HORN brand is an ideal synergetic addition to our current group structure and strengthens NEDAC’s presence in the German food retail market”.
NEDAC was comprehensively advised on the acquisition by a team of Anchor Rechtsanwälte led by partners Lars Hinkel and Dr. Christof Schiller. “Thanks to the intensive efforts of the parties involved, an investor for HORN was found and the restructuring was successfully completed. Thanks to the relevant experience of NEDAC, the company is well positioned and is fit for the future after the successful reorganisation”, says reorganisation director Tillmann Peeters. “Our declared aim was to find an investor who would offer the HORN brand and employees a strategic perspective and who would stand by them as a strong partner. As a result, we are very satisfied with the outcome of the search for an investor. The transaction fits perfectly into NEDAC’s profile”, adds Henning Graw, partner at IMAP.
In an accelerated transaction process, the signing could be implemented three months after the start of the project on May 18, 2017. The closing took place in June 2017.
Advisors debtor-in-possession management
Tillmann Peeters (Partner)
Sebastian Wilde (Partner)
Marcus Losch (Partner)
Jan Groß (Partner)
Stefan Hansen (Senior Manager)
Brinkmann & Partner
Dr. Markus Plathner (Partner)
Alexander Eggen (Lawyer)
Henning Graw (Partner)
Simon Borst (Analyst)
Lars Hinkel (Partner, Düsseldorf, insolvency law, insolvency labour law)
Dr. Christof Schiller (Partner, Mannheim, M&A, Corporate law)
Larissa Bechthold (Associate, Düsseldorf, labour law)