Insolvency plan entered into force – New start as “be you GmbH” under new ownership
Flensburg, 20 June 2018 After the expiration of today’s final deadlines for objections against Beate Uhse AG’s insolvency plan and as the remaining formal hurdles have been removed, the company’s core has been saved. The company will continue as “be you GmbH” with a new principal shareholder, a fund managed by Robus Capital Management, and will comprise the retail and online business, the brands “Beate Uhse” and “Adam & Eve” in France and the subsidiary “Pabo” in Holland. The previous CEO Michael Specht takes over the management of “be you GmbH”.
The insolvency of a wide range of companies of the Beate use corporate group made a far-reaching operational restructuring of the corporate group possible in the first place. In addition to outsourcing logistics and reducing the fixed cost base, the main shareholder will invest primarily in the eCommerce area and build up a completely new IT platform. “We now have a good basis for a fresh start,” commented Managing Director Michael Specht.
Complex international legal issues
In view of the complex structure of the Beate Uhse Group with an important holding company and corresponding assets in the Netherlands, a complicated procedure was required to save the company. An important pivotal point was the question of the actual “Center of Main Interest” (“COMI”) of the company and thus the local jurisdiction under European insolvency law.
“This question is currently legally controversial, but in the case at hand it has been possible for the first time to conduct debtor-in-possession under German insolvency law over the assets of a foreign company. In fact, German insolvency law offers more room for corporate rescues than other European countries,” explained Dr. Georg Bernsau, General Representative of Beate Uhse and partner in the insolvency law firm BBL Bernsau Brockdorff. “The restructuring of an internationally operating group within the framework of a German debtor-in-possession and insolvency plan procedure has the potential to make European legal history,” emphasized Justus von Buchwaldt, the second Beate Uhse General Representative, like Dr. Bernsau from of BBL Bernsau Brockdorff.
“The proceedings were a tour de force for everyone involved,” commented White & Case Partner Dr. Sven-Holger Undritz, who supervised the proceedings as custodian. “Assets that are absolutely necessary for the continuation of the company were located in various Group companies in various jurisdictions. Through a combination of insolvency plan proceedings, asset and share deals, it was possible to maintain the core of the group of companies, which is worthy of continuation. The successful conclusion of this process shows that even complex reorganizations are possible within the framework of German insolvency proceedings”.
About Beate Uhse AG:
Beate Uhse was founded in 1946 and is a European erotic company with around 345 employees (FTE) in seven countries. Beate Uhse stands for over 70 years of experience and expertise in the erotic industry and has a very high brand recognition. The focus is on B2C, which is covered by two central sales channels – e-commerce and stationary retail – and which are closely interlinked as part of the cross-channel strategy. The Beate Uhse share (XETRA: USE. DE) has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since May 1999. More information can be found at www.beate-uhse.ag.
BBL is one of the leading law firms with an exclusive focus on reorganisation, restructuring and insolvency. The firm has extensive experience in complex restructuring projects both within and outside insolvency proceedings. More than 50 lawyers work at BBL in Germany and in London.
Further information: www.bbl-law.de
BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner Attorneys at Law
Dr. Georg Bernsau
Phone: +49 69 963761-130 – Fax: +49 69 963761-145