Westfleisch Westfleisch takes over Gausepohl beef division

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02. February 2015


Sales agreement provides for takeover of all employees  /  Above average recovery rate of up to 50 percent for creditors  /  Bundeskartellamt has given its approval


Osnabrück/Münster/Bremen - 2. February 2015. The beef division of the Gausepohl group, which submitted an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings at the end of last year, is being sold to the farm cooperative Westfleisch eG, Münster. An agreement to this effect has already been signed in close consultation with the provisional creditors’ committee.

As well as the acquisition of all the assets of the two insolvent companies, Gausepohl Qualitätsfleisch GmbH & Co KG and Fleischversand Heinz Gausepohl GmbH & Co KG at the two sites in Dissen and Bakum, such as factory equipment, machinery and technical equipment, the purchase agreement also provides for the takeover of all the employees of both companies. Around 100 people are employed in the beef division.

The parties have agreed to maintain silence about the purchase price and the details of the transaction. The insolvency administrator has, however, revealed that the purchase price obtained could lead to an exceptionally high recovery rate for creditors of up to 50 percent. The average rate for creditors in insolvency proceedings in Germany stands at around 5 percent. The major creditors in the proceedings are mainly farmers and cattle dealers in the region.

The signing of the agreement was preceded by intensive negotiations with different investors during the investor process initiated by the preliminary insolvency administrator. Finally the offer by Westfleisch eG won the competition between bidders.

The insolvency proceedings for both of the insolvent companies in the beef division of the Gausepohl Group were officially opened on 1 February 2015, by means of the corresponding decisions of the responsible district court in Osnabrück. At the same time Dr. Malte Köster, up to that point the temporary insolvency administrator, was also appointed as insolvency administrator for both companies.

The beef division of the Gausepohl Group latterly generated a turnover of around EUR 150 million. The Bundeskartellamt [Federal Cartel Office] has given its approval for the takeover.

Dr. Malte Köster, insolvency administrator: “The takeover by Westfleisch has created a sustainable solution for the future. We have succeeded in realising a high recovery rate for the claims by farmers and cattle dealers, and at the same time all the employees are being taken over. Both aspects were important elements of the investor process, and were also of major importance for the management as far as the insolvency proceedings were concerned. The bidder process was intensive, but was handled responsibly and fairly at all times by everyone involved. The financial reconstruction has thus been successfully completed three months after the insolvency application was submitted. We wish the whole team all the best for the new start!”

Dr. Helfried Giesen, Spokesman of the Executive Board of Westfleisch: “Westfleisch regards the expansion of its coverage of the cattle segment in North-West Germany as a good opportunity for further stabilising the beef market in terms of self-service meat, frozen convenience products, the fresh meat business and exports”. His Executive Board colleague Carsten Schruck: “We are looking forward to working successfully with the suppliers and previous customers of the plants in Bakum and Dissen, and also with the employees at both sites. Over the next few weeks we will be working together on joint concepts for the future.”

"Dr. Helfried Giesen, Vorstandsmitglied Westfleisch eG:" Westfleisch sieht in der Ausweitung seiner Erfassung bei Großvieh im nordwestdeutschen Raum eine gute Chance zur weiteren Stabilisierung des Rindfleischmarktes für SB-Fleisch, TK-Convenience sowie im Frischfleischgeschäft und im Export". Sein Vorstandkollege Carsten Schruck: "Wir freuen uns auf die gute Zusammenarbeit mit den Lieferanten und den bisherigen Kunden der Betriebe Bakum und Dissen sowie den Mitarbeitern beider Standorte. Gemeinsam werden wir in den kommenden Wochen an gemeinsamen Zukunftskonzepten arbeiten."



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