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Last Friday, C. Hahne Mühlenwerke GmbH & Co. KG, a long-established mill operator based in Löhne in North Rhine-Westphalia, filed for insolvency. Following this, the Local Court of Bielefeld ordered provisional insolvency proceedings and appointed Mr Stefan Meyer, an attorney experienced in corporate restructuring from PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH, as the provisional administrator.
Filing the application became inevitable for the company due to imminent illiquidity. The Hahne Mill has many years of experience in processing and producing cereal products. Currently the company has a workforce of 140 employees, whose salaries are guaranteed for a period of three months thanks to specific substitute benefits provided under German insolvency law. The employees were informed about the proceedings by the managing director Mr Karsten Krüger at a staff meeting and will be given additional information by the provisional administrator in the course of the week.
“We were already on site, in the company, on Friday, in order to obtain an initial overview of the situation that the company is in. Business operations are being continued without any restrictions. We will continue to process all of our customers’ orders,” said the restructuring expert Mr Meyer, who will be supported in the insolvency proceedings by the attorney Mr Ingo Thurm and the economist Mr Jürgen Schendel. In the coming weeks, the PLUTA team will examine the chances of a successful turnaround and implement a structured search for an investor (M&A process), in consultation with the provisional creditors’ assembly. According to Meyer, “The Hahne Mill has a long tradition. Our aim is to stabilise business operations and, following this, to find a suitable investor. More detailed information can only be provided at a later point.”
Founded in 1848, Hahne Mühlenwerke developed from a small mill to a major cereal producer, well known on a supra-regional scale, which makes many different cereal products – from mueslis and oat flakes to cornflakes, and with different manufacturing methods and flavours – and sells them in the global market. In addition to its own “HAHNE” brand, the company produces many products for industrial and private label customers, but also more and more organic products.
In 2016, after it had to file for insolvency for the first time, the long-established company underwent a restructuring programme as part of debtor-in-possession proceedings. These first insolvency proceedings, which were supported and overseen by the attorney Mr Joachim Walterscheid, were terminated in January 2018 after an insolvency plan had been approved and implemented.