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The PLUTA team has succeeded in finding an investor solution for Burnus GmbH in Darmstadt and Ernst Zeiss GmbH in Zülpich. Mr Frank Heller, an experienced investor based in Munich, has taken over the business operations of both companies by way of an asset deal on 1 November 2022. Going forward, the business will trade as Burnus Care GmbH. The Burnus Group is a long-established manufacturer of body care products and detergents. Thanks to the solution achieved, brands such as Kamill, burti, cliff, Glysolid and Litamin, that are popular in the German and international markets, will be preserved.
The purchase agreement has already been signed and notarised. However, the parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The investor has acquired the business operations of both companies, the premises in Zülpich as well as the 100 or so employees of Ernst Zeiss GmbH and 30 members of Burnus GmbH staff. These two companies, which are active in the B2C business, produce body care products and detergents, supplying food retailers and drugstores.
Dr Maximilian Pluta explained, “The Burnus Group has almost 100 years of experience and their Kamill, burti and cliff brands are very popular with many families. The negotiations were very intensive as several parties were interested in the group. Ultimately, Frank Heller prevailed. It was important to us to ensure that both sites and the well-known brands would be preserved and can be further developed. Moreover, the 130 employees will be kept on under the solution now achieved. This is a very positive outcome for all involved.”
Operations continuing successfully during debtor-in-possession proceedings
The Burnus Group has been restructuring under debtor-in-possession proceedings since spring 2022. Its business has remained fully operational since then. The restructuring experts at PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH have been advising the Burnus Group since it filed for insolvency in February 2022. In addition, the company has benefited from business management advice provided by WAYES experts. The insolvency monitor in these proceedings has been Dr Andreas Kleinschmidt of law firm White & Case LLP.
“We have monitored the proceedings while representing the interests of creditors. Debtor-in-possession proceedings have proven to be a suitable instrument for the repositioning of the entire group. I am pleased with the agreement that has now been reached for the two companies, as it also represents the best possible outcome for creditors,” said insolvency monitor Dr Andreas Kleinschmidt.
“All those responsible have cooperated really well in these proceedings, and we would like to thank all involved for their outstanding commitment. Cooperation with the insolvency monitoring team has been very good over the past nine months. Debtor-in-possession proceedings have allowed us to achieve the optimal solution for the entire group,” said PLUTA restructuring expert Mr Philip Konen.
During the M&A process, the debtor-in-possession team was supported by One Square Advisors GmbH and Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe Privatbank AG, the buyer’s team by Saxenhammer & Co. International GmbH and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
Market entry with a clear orientation towards the future
Mr Frank Heller is an experienced managing director; he previously managed the Charles Hotel in Munich and the Rocco Forte Hotels in Germany. “Entering the cosmetics market as successor and owner of a long-standing family business is a new and very exciting challenge for me. It has been particularly important to me to preserve the well-established brands for customers and, at the same time, save the jobs,” said Mr Frank Heller. “I have always been personally committed to entering the market with a clear orientation towards the future. This is only possible if you take care of both people and the environment, which has always been done at Burnus,” he added.
Debtor-in-possession team for Burnus GmbH and Ernst Zeiss GmbH:
PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH
Dr Maximilian Pluta (overall responsibility)
Mr Philip Konen (project management)
Mr Stefan Warmuth (advice on matters of insolvency law)
Ms Kristina Breuer (advice on matters of insolvency law)
Mr Markus Fünning (legal advice)
Ms Daniela Schneider (business management advice)
Insolvency monitoring team:
White & Case LLP
Dr Andreas Kleinschmidt
Dr Lena Verdenhalven
Business management advice:
WAYES GmbH & Co. KG
Mr Falk Schnurbusch
Mr Bernhard Bieckmann
Labor law advice:
Schweibert Leßmann & Partner:
Dr. Rüdiger Hopfe
M&A consultants for the debtor-in-possession team:
One Square Advisors GmbH
Mr Frank Günther
Mr Tomas Samel
Mr André von Holtzapfel
Mr Moritz Setzer
Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe Privatbank AG
Mr Bernhard Ploenes
Legal consultants for the buyer:
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Mr Patrick Narr
Mr Daniel Marschollek
Mr Frank Weberndörfer
Dr Karsten Alex
Mr Malte Meyer
Mr Jörn Twisselmann
Saxenhammer & Co. International GmbH
Ms Carina Küffen