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Headwind in the wind energy sector

The German wind industry is in crisis. After the tower builder AMBAU GmbH had already filed for insolvency in February, the Hamburg-based wind energy group Senvion Deutschland GmbH had to take the path of insolvency under its own administration.

The market cannot be cited as the sole reason in the search for the causes of the plight. Since 2010, the installed capacity of wind turbines has almost tripled worldwide. In Germany, renewable energies already account for 17.5% of gross electricity generation. Wind energy accounts for about 50% of this. Around one third of newly installed wind turbines in Europe went on-grid in Germany in 2018.

One reason for the crisis can be found in looking inwards: since 2017, the construction of wind power plants in Germany has no longer been subsidized. Instead, new projects are put out to tender in auction procedures. Due to inefficient production processes, German manufacturers are not in a position to withstand the cost pressure of foreign competition. Instead of investing in new technology and efficiency improvements at an early stage, German manufacturers have opted for cost reductions and thus fell behind. On the one hand, this increased price pressure on suppliers (see Ambau), and on the other hand, the lack of efficiency in production led to penalties due to delays in delivery.

Gegenwind in der Windenergiebranche

Publication: The specifics of distressed M&A processes

In the general context of corporate and divisional transactions, distressed M&A processes are becoming increasingly important. It is of central interest for sellers and buyers to know which rules – also in terms of opportunities and risks – apply at the time of the transaction. Depending on the overall situation and future expectations, but as a rule always under high time pressure, a transaction can be executed both before and during insolvency.

In an analysis comparing classic M&A processes, our authors Dr. Bernhard BeckerHendrik Leigers and Konrad Martin show to what extent the buyer's willingness to take risks and the seller's pressure situation are ultimately of decisive importance for the choice of the transaction date.

The article was published in KSI 02.2019 and can be downloaded here.

The specifices of distressed M&A processes

Short-distance co-operation – comes and Nordantech

comes starts co-operation with consulting tech company Nordantech

Nordantech has set itself the goal of facilitating the cooperation between management consultancies and clients in transformation projects. For this purpose, the young Hamburg-based company develops and distributes an intelligent project management software called Falcon. Falcon allows the coordination and management of complex projects through time-saving and clear features. The software impresses with minimal setup time and high intuitiveness. Falcon creates clear responsibilities and a simple overview of the overall project, goals and progress.

The short decision paths and agile working style make comes and Nordantech ideal partners. With their Hamburg branches, both companies are only a stone's throw away from each other across the Binnenalster. comes and Nordantech are looking forward to the upcoming projects: "From the first minute Falcon scored in our projects  with speed in setup and user friendliness. When it comes to tracking measures and implementing change and turnaround projects, our customers confirm that with Falcon we have a product at hand that is ideally suited for decision-makers to achieve the desired success for the company," says René Labahn, Manager at comes. "Company transformation is not child's play. We appreciate the hands-on mentality and implementation strength of comes. Their years of experience in implementing measures coupled with our solution result in a powerful mix," adds Christian Kuhs, co-founder of Nordantech.

Together we will innovatively meet the challenges of medium-sized businesses and successfully accompany our clients through their transformation projects.

Kooperation der kurzen Wege
Renè Labahn und Christian Kuhs

Company succession in Germany - an outlook until 2022

Every year, around 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany are transferred to a successor. By the end of 2022, around 120,000 companies will have to undergo a generation change.

In about two thirds of these companies, family-owned or company-internal successors take over the business activities. For the remaining 30%, a suitable investor will be sought externally. The complexity and duration of this search is often underestimated, because a qualified and complete preparation of the company transition usually takes several years.

Unternehmensnachfolge

At best, an owner begins to prepare his company for the future transition three to ten years before the intended exit. It is advisable to check whether the product portfolio is sustainable and the margins profitable. It is also advisable to push ahead with investments in the modernisation of companies and production at an early stage.

If a company transfer is still around three years away, the search for a suitable successor should begin at the latest, because several months to years can elapse before this successor is found and an agreement reached.

The subsequent generation change should be completed by a transition phase of approximately one year. In this phase, the new owner becomes familiar with the company and its processes, so that a successful continuation can be ensured.

Digital transformation: Resilience as a new key resource

Survival under permanent pressure to change

In an ever more dynamic environment, the rules of classic corporate management are changing: classic planning is losing its foundation in the face of shorter planning horizons and the one-sided focus on process optimization along fixed development paths is changing from a recipe for success to a risk factor.

In contrast, the ability to react to unforeseen events and to shape permanent change becomes a new key resource. Under the term "resilience", this ability is often invoked, but rarely operationalized.

In their article, published in the Zeitschrift für Corporate Governance CGI 01.2019, comes employees Dr. Bernhard Becker and Jan Schoenmakers together with Silvia Braumandl put forward a proposal for such an operationalization for discussion on the basis of a systems theoretical model and apply it to the entrepreneurial context. The growing importance of intrapersonal resilience – to be understood as the resilience of the individual employee – is also discussed.

Please klick here for the full article.

Resilienz

comes congratulates Tribodyn AG on the Innovation Award

comes supports the acquisition of financing for new construction and corporate growth

Tribodyn AG in Northeim develops and produces the highly innovative, environmentally friendly leaf and soil fertilizer Lithovit. Using a special process, Lithovit is finely ground and thus tribodynamically activated. Lithovit increases the growth and stress resilience of the plants and is also suitable as a seed dressing. The products are 100% organic and certified according to Demeter and Naturland. For these achievements, Tribodyn AG was awarded the Innovation Prize 2018 of the District of Göttingen as well as the Entrepreneur Prize for Southern Lower Saxony 2018 of the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW).

After successfully entering the market, the still young company is already active in 100 countries and is pursuing ambitious growth plans. In 2018, a new company building with ultra-modern production and logistics facilities was erected in Northeim in order to unite all work steps under one roof in the future.

comes has supported Tribodyn AG with the acquisition and securing of equity and debt financing for investments in the new plant and further expansion.

Tribodyn
Tribodyn

comes accompanies three of the top 25 insolvency proceedings 2018 in Germany

In the past year, comes' team of advisors has again supported the companies and their lawyers in various standard insolvency and self-management proceedings. JUVE-Verlag has compiled a list of the largest insolvency proceedings for 2018. Of the 25 largest insolvencies, comes accompanied three, i.e. about one in eight:

  • Max Moritz
  • Unimet Group
  • Car dealership Willy Tiedtke

In addition to liquidity planning in proceedings and comparative calculations for the insolvency plan, comes develops restructuring concepts and carries out M&A processes.

Please find further references to our self-management and standard insolvency proceedings here.

The JUVE list of the top 50 insolvencies can be found in issue 01/19 of the journal JUVE Rechtsmarkt.

Top 50 insolvency proceedings 2018

comes is growing

Cord Körner

Cord Körner

The consultant, who is well versed in financing and restructuring issues, has been a member of our "Overcoming the Crisis" team since August 2018. At the Hamburg and Hanover offices, Mr. Körner supports our clients primarily in the areas of restructuring, distressed M&A and insolvency support.

Prior to working for comes, he advised medium-sized clients of various sizes and sectors at a major international bank and a big-four auditing and consulting firm.

Hendrik Leigers

Hendrik Leigers

After Mr. Leigers had already supported us during his university studies of Banking & Finance as an analyst/working student, he has now been working as a consultant in the Oldenburg team in the areas of distressed M&A and financing since December. He is also involved in digitisation issues with our joint venture partner Hase & Igel.

Prior to his studies, Mr. Leigers worked as a banker.

René Labahn

René Labahn

Since the beginning of this year, Mr. Labahn has been supporting our clients' operational turnaround at the Hamburg location, from invoice receipt to bank communication and strategy orientation. As a specialist for digital corporate management (consolidated financial statements, group planning and reporting), he is responsible for the expansion of the software-supported business area.

In previous positions, he worked as a manager in a consultancy and as a manager in controlling for a mechanical engineering group.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our colleague Jan Handzlik on his doctorate in economics and social sciences!