Germany: Van der Molen to cease operations

Van der Molen, a company specialized in the development and construction of process solutions for the liquid foods industry, has ceased operations only two months after opening the preliminary insolvency proceedings. All hopes in the continued operation have evaporated after the administrator was not able to find a buyer for the insolvent company. 54 employees will lose their jobs.

The company based in Kissing, south of Augsburg, Germany, which was to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Germany next year, supplied the soft drink industry with all components needed by a beverage manufacturer: pipelines, boilers, pumps, but also control systems. The company was said to be the world's number one in the niche segment, which dealt with everything that needed syrup in the drink. The company was not supplying the  beer and milk industry.

Over the years, more than 1,000 machines were installed in nearly every part of the world. Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, and Schweppes were amongst the clients. However, since its peak years with a turnover of about 20 million  Euros, the company faced increasing difficulties. Early 2017 former owner Ovivo based in Montreal, Canada sold the company to Radial Capital Partners (RCP), a company specialized in restructuring companies in upheaval situations, especially in group spin-offs, unresolved successions and companies in crisis.

Andreas Mayr, managing partner of RCP who joined the investment company in January 2015 became also General Manager of Van der Molen in February 2015. However, he was not able to stabilize the company.

Josef Staible, former owner and long-standing CEO of the company had at one time even to return from retirement but was not able either to save the company in the end. People close to the matter said that van der Molen was not able to generate one significant order in the second half of 2017.

Since “the project business needs many years it was simply not sustainable to go on," explained one of the lawyers, who was assigned with the case. In addition, the liquid resources were almost exhausted and one bank urged to sell the manufacturing site which served as a security for the financial institution.

So far it seems clear that the German company will cease operations forever and the business will be sold in parts to interested parties. The future of the subsidiaries in Italy and South-Africa which are not directly affected by the insolvency of the mother company is still unknown. At least, Josef Staible did not have to see the sad end of his former company. He died during the preliminary insolvency proceedings.

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