The company filed for insolvency protection with the German district court in Augsburg on 25 November, after negotiations with a potential investor failed on the home stretch. At the same time the company has filed a request for self-administration
to finalise the on-going restructuring efforts. The
provisional insolvency administrator Werner Schneider will  examine the situation at the company, to obtain a comprehensive
picture of the situation.

The decision to file for insolvency was triggered by another dramatic
downturn in incoming orders since mid-July. Although there is still great interest in the company’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. 

The general representative and the provisional
insolvency administrator are going to promptly review the
possibilities for a restructuring. Currently, the business activities of
manroland continue to run as normal, the company employs 6,500 people, thereof 5 000 in Germany.

The companys executive board 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. With the planned entry of a potential
investor and on a basis of a financing programme coordinated with the
previous shareholders and banks, the company’s equity base would have
been strengthened. 

On a positive note, Schneider has stated that various investors have expressed interest in manroland. In an interview with the German edition of the Financial Times, he said that breaking up the company into smaller parts to sell might be easier and that meetings with potential investors will be set up during the next two weeks, to ensure that manroland has commitment from investors by 1 February 2012, when the formal insolvency proceedings begin.  

Perspective on the print industry:

On manrolands insolvency, print analyst and Value Journal editor Andreas Weber, Mainz, states: Management, the supervisory board and shareholders continue to blame the economic climate and financial situation of their existing customers. When the economy stagnates, less is printed, they say, and that leads to a reduction in investment in printing machines. If that were the case, there would have to be a print crisis.

Weber said that there is no crisis to be seen in the print medium. He said that last year, Germanys productivity (the volume of printed advertising and packaging materials) increased by 5%. Globally, about 1 000 billion Euros are spent a year on printed materials of all kinds. This gigantic volume is scarcely likely to fall by 2020, he said.  

He said that those in the printing industry needed to adjust to its new rules and that there are enough sales and profit opportunities to take advantage of but that new businesses need intelligent, market-orientated technical concepts and proactively marketed solutions such as hybrid production concepts to seize these opportunities. It would be a gross error to assume that the internet is threatening the print medium or even destroying it. The mixing of different printing techniques including links with the world of online communication is greeted with enormous interest by agencies and advertising clients, he said. 



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