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Traditional Berlin company saved from bankruptcy

An investor saves the traditional company Sawade from bankruptcy. The procedure is to be lifted in February. The Berliners also gave their oldest chocolate factory strong support.

The new year begins with good news for the Berlin praline manufacturer Sawade: A Berlin financial investor saves the traditional company based in Reinickendorf from bankruptcy. The company announced on Friday. The “Berliner Morgenpost” reported on it beforehand.

The Berliners not only have the oldest chocolate factory in the city, the 84 employees can now breathe easy. “I am very relieved that the continued existence of Sawade is secured. All jobs have been retained,” says Sawade managing director Benno Hübel according to the press release.

The long-established company was hit hard by the corona crisis and the lockdowns associated with it. According to information from the “Berliner Morgenpost”, employees already had to go into short-time work in the summer. At the beginning of August, the chocolate manufacturer finally filed for bankruptcy under its own responsibility.

Bankruptcy proceedings canceled by February at the latest

But now the future of the manufacturing company is secured. The financial investor Fintura Corporate Finance saves Sawade from bankruptcy. The head of Sawade, Benno Hübel, does not want to give details about the background of the company or the amount of the financial injection. It is “a partner who is well networked in Berlin,” he told the “Morgenpost”.

“We are now doing everything we can to ensure that the insolvency proceedings are lifted by the end of February 2021 at the latest”, the lawyer Oliver Damerius from the restructuring firm BBL Brockdorff & Partner was quoted in a message. The creditors had previously agreed to an insolvency plan, as the company announced.

Berliners showed solidarity with Sawade

But the Berliners themselves have fought for their traditional business. With the campaign “Save Sawade – eat more chocolates”, many have advertised the chocolate manufacturer on social media channels such as YouTube and Instagram.

“There were and are many Berliners who heard of the bankruptcy and who took part in the ‘Save Sawade’ campaign,” said a Sawade spokeswoman for the “BZ”. The good Christmas business gave the company space to find a suitable investor.

Save Sawade: Many Berliners supported the chocolate maker with the campaign. (Source: imago images / Tagesspiegel)Save Sawade: Many Berliners supported the chocolate maker with the campaign. (Source: Tagesspiegel / imago images)

Ending the lockdown quickly remains crucial

But despite the good news, the situation at Sawade remains tense. As the “Berliner Morgenpost” reports, the manufacturing company has not been able to apply for corona aid from the federal government. Since it was not in the black last year, Sawade was not eligible to apply.

The Hübel couple took over the traditional company in 2013 and, according to the company, restructured it. Since the takeover, the company has invested millions in modernizing production, IT, technology and sales and in a new brand strategy.

It is therefore crucial for the company that the lockdown is ended quickly. “We are looking ahead positively because we think that the shops will be able to open again before Easter,” said Hübel to the Morgenpost.

Sawade announces further store openings in the medium term

The company also lacked tourists particularly badly – on its own website, the company offers gift baskets with products that are bought at other times in the Hackesche Höfe or in the KaDeWe as souvenirs or souvenirs.

Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the future: Sawade has announced further store openings and a short-term expansion of the online business – the five existing stores had remained open for the past few months despite the impending bankruptcy.

For these plans, the workforce is already rushing into the important Easter business, which this year could well play a special role for Berlin’s oldest chocolate manufacturer.

The company, which, according to a rumor, owes its name to the founder’s neighbor, has been making pralines and chocolate in Berlin since 1880. It developed into an address in Europe early on and not only became a purveyor to the royal court, but was also popular with the court of the tsars in Russia and the Dutch royal family.

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