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manroland Files to Initiate Insolvency Proceedings

November 24, 2011

UPDATED November 29: PrintAction contacted manroland North America to better understand how the filing of manroland AG will affect the company's operations in Canada and the United States.

Vince Lapinski, CEO of manroland North America, indicated that North American operations, based in Chicago with a satellite office in Toronto, will release further information later this week, while providing the following statement:

“manroland North America is currently operating in a 'business as usual' status. We would like to assure the industry that manroland Inc. North America is fully operational, and we are continuing to provide the best possible service for our customer."

In what Bloomberg describes as Germany’s biggest insolvency over the past two years, manroland AG this morning filed a petition to initiate insolvency proceedings with the Augsburg district court.

The possibility of manroland’s filing for bankruptcy protection was broke yesterday by Reuters and a Frankfurt newspaper, citing sources who claimed the company failed in its search for a new investor.

Reuters reported that shares of Heidelberg, which have lost more than half of their value so far this year, jumped as high as 14 percent on the day, ending with a 8.3 percent rise.

This morning Manroland issued the following public statement about its filing:

manroland AG today filed a petition to initiate insolvency proceedings with the jurisdictional district court at Augsburg, after the negotiations with a potential investor have failed on the home stretch. At the same time the company has filed a request for self-administration in order to finalize the on-going restructuring efforts. The provisional insolvency administrator Werner Schneider will in due course examine the situation at manroland, in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the situation.

The executive board of manroland aims to rescue key units within the framework of ongoing restructuring efforts as debtor in possession. The initiated insolvency procedure affords the opportunity to step up the restructuring process and guide the company through this difficult phase.

Despite all the disappointment over the path that now has to be taken, the insolvency procedure as debtor in possession offers plenty of prospects because the company has compelling products, the necessary know-how, and an excellent team. With the planned entry of a potential investor and on a basis of a financing program coordinated with the previous shareholders and banks the company’s equity base would have been strengthened.

The decision to file for insolvency was triggered by another dramatic downturn in incoming orders which can be noticed since mid-July and has recently accelerated. Although there is still great interest in manroland’s printing systems, customers are finding it far more difficult to obtain financing in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

At the same time, intensive competition in the face of declining orders has led to even greater pressure on prices and therefore to declining contribution margins. The market size is now only at 50 percent of the level before the beginning of the crisis in 2008. After showing initial signs of recovery from the beginning of the fiscal year and well into the summer, the market took another downturn, particularly in the USA and Western Europe, and in the segment for sheet-fed presses.

The same goes for activities in China, although business there remains brisk. This downturn had an impact on the entire industry, the force of which was not foreseeable. The general representative and the provisional insolvency administrator are now going to promptly review the possibilities for a restructuring. Currently, the business activities of manroland continue to run as normal. manroland employs 6,500 people, thereof 5,000 in Germany.

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