The insolvent ECOPLANT Group, headquartered in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, was sold as part of a reorganisation by transfer (asset deal). The four business units were taken over and continued by strategic investors on a unit-by-unit basis.
The ECOPLANT Group has positioned itself as an industrial equipment supplier offering a broad service portfolio (filtration, automation, technical building equipment, conveyor technology and servicing) for a range of industries. The group grew out of the company known as Edmund Weis KG, founded in 1977. Since the end of the 1990s, the group of companies has been developed and expanded in a consistent way. Prior to the sale, approximately 320 people were employed by the twelve group companies at the various locations. In the peak years, total revenues of about EUR 95 million were generated.
The company had to file for insolvency due to persistent losses and an associated liquidity crisis. These crises were due mainly to the blocking of the group by the main client because of allegations of corruption along with an aggressive pricing environment in which competitors were able to benefit from economies of scale.
The role of benten capital
In order to sustainably reorganise the company and continue its activities, the insolvency administrator immediately commissioned benten capital to undertake an M&A process for the ECOPLANT Group. benten capital immediately instigated an international investor process and identified that the most appropriate solution would involve the separate divestment of the business units, since the sale of the company as a complete unit was not feasible in light of the independent and isolated nature of the different business units and the particular circumstances involved. Ultimately, within a very short period, benten capital was able to successfully execute four parallel transaction processes involving increased regional, corporate and business-related complexities, and sell each business unit to a suitable strategic investor. The partners at benten capital responsible for the transaction were Harald Tomaselli and Ulrich Praßler.