From the pub around the corner to the global corporation: The corona crisis is tearing companies of all sizes into insolvency. Emergency aid or emergency loans are often just a drop in the bucket when the pandemic has brought revenues almost to zero, but high rents and wages continue to be spent. This applies all the more to companies that have already had financial difficulties. The trade association Germany HDE expected in April that retailers in Germany could face up to 50,000 bankruptcies due to Covid-19.
Bankruptcy does not automatically mean the end for companies. However, the already complicated restructuring is becoming much more difficult due to the crisis. One thing is clear: many well-known brands will disappear from German city centers and shopping centers. Insolvency reports are also piling up in other industries and countries.
These companies became insolvent in the Corona crisis:
Vapiano has long been considered a successful German answer to fast food restaurants from the United States. The listed company, founded in 2002, scored points with its Italian flair among customers. However, business was already going badly before the Corona crisis. The pandemic gave the rest of the Cologne-based restaurant chain the rest. On April 1, Vapiano filed for bankruptcy. According to Tagesschau.de, the banks and the three major shareholders did not agree on the further financing: “In the end, almost 37 million euros were missing after almost all of Vapiano’s 230 pizza and pasta restaurants worldwide had to close to curb the corona pandemic, but the costs went on. ”Now a buyer is looking for.
At Esprit, on the other hand, the old management should stay at the helm if possible. The fashion group, founded in the United States in the late 1960s, fled with several of its German companies into protective shield proceedings, as “Manager Magazin” reported at the end of March. In this particular variant of the insolvency proceedings, the company concerned remains largely in self-administration, but is protected from liquidity requirements. This should enable renovation.
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is also using a protective bankruptcy procedure to survive the corona crisis. On April 1 – the same day as Vapiano – the department store chain submitted a corresponding application to the Essen District Court for the sports and department stores, as the “WirtschaftsWoche” reported. The owner of Karstadt, the Signa Holding of the Austrian real estate investor René Benko, transferred another 140 million euros this week. Signa will continue to make three-digit millions available. “The goal is to protect Galeria,” the company said according to the report. The renovation will be painful. According to media reports, almost half of the more than 170 branches could face closure. In the United States, the largest department store chain JC Penney was hit.
Virgin Australia Airlines
Richard Branson was also struck by the Corona crisis. Its previously heavily indebted airline Virgin Australia Airlines had to file for bankruptcy in April. The Australian government refused to save the country’s second largest airline from bankruptcy with additional government aid. “The government doesn’t lump out five foreign shareholders with deep pockets who hold 90 percent of the airline together,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Josh Frydenberg, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Virgin Australia is therefore owned by the Nanshan Group (19.98 percent), the HNA Group (19.82), the Qantas competitor Singapore Airlines (20.09), Etihad Airways (20.94) and the Virgin Group (10 , 42). According to the report, Branson plans to offer its private island, Necker Island, as collateral for a loan.
The German automotive industry was in crisis long before Corona. On April 30, the supplier Veritas AG had to announce the bankruptcy. The search for an investor had also failed for the time being due to the decline in sales during the pandemic. Veritas AG claims to be Germany’s oldest rubber processing company and material expert for elastomer, plastic, metal and polymer compounds. Among other things, the company manufactures pipe systems for fuel and oil in vehicles, so-called fluid systems. It currently employs around 4,400 people worldwide.
It hit Mister Minit at the end of April. The shoe repair service, founded in Belgium in 1957, filed for self-administration for the approximately 150 German branches with around 400 employees. According to the company, the group is represented in 14 countries worldwide with more than 900 branches (as of 2015), including Japan.
The Maredo steak house chain had already fallen behind before the Covid 19 pandemic. In March, the company only applied for self-administered bankruptcy, and a few days later switched to regular bankruptcy. “Maredo currently employs a total of almost 950 people in Germany and 54 in Salzburg and Vienna. Most recently, the company generated annual sales of around 50 million euros, ”said the chain. 13 of the 35 steakhouses are closed. In some cases, prestigious locations are affected, for example on the Unter den Linden boulevard in Berlin or at the Dresden Frauenkirche, as the “Handelsblatt” reported.
With the Appelrath-Cüpper fashion house, founded in 1882, another traditional company from Germany is threatened with the Corona-Aus. The Cologne women’s fashion chain filed for self-administration at the beginning of April. “We were on the right track. Great January, great February, plan exceeded, previous year far exceeded. Then March caught us cold with Corona and the house closings, ”quoted“ Textile Industry ”CEO Lothar Schäfer. According to the report, Appelrath-Cüpper employs around 1,000 people and has an annual turnover of around 110 million euros. According to this, 95 percent of the revenues resulted from the branch business, only five percent from the online trade. Appelrath-Cüpper was sold in 2016 by Douglas to the British financial investor OpCapita, owner of the cheap textile chain NKD.
On April 1, the fate of outdoor equipment maker McTrek was provisionally sealed. The yeah! AG, based in Bruchköbel near Hanau, filed for insolvency at the Hanau district court due to impending insolvency, as reported by “Textilwirtschaft”. “The company operates 43 McTrek branches and an online shop nationwide and employs 420 people. The yeah! AG is majority owned by the Belgian A.S. Adventure Group, ”it said.