Fashion chain Adler is about to be saved

Good news for fashion retailer Adler: The company has a new owner – the logistics company Zeitfracht. It has already made a name for itself with the takeover of insolvent companies.

The insolvent Adler Modemärkte AG has found a new owner. According to Adler, the Berlin logistics group Zeitfracht is ready to take over the company from Haibach near Aschaffenburg and to supply it with the urgently needed fresh capital.

On Tuesday, Zeitfracht submitted an irrevocable takeover offer for the company with 172 branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, which could become effective after the opening of the insolvency proceedings, which is expected in early July, explained Adler Mode. “The offer is the chance for a successful new beginning for Adler,” said CEO Thomas Freude. The company did not disclose anything about the purchase price.

The shareholders should go away empty-handed according to the insolvency plan. Zeitfracht will become the sole owner with the capital injection. “The existing shares will in all likelihood be completely worthless,” it said in a press release. The Adler share, which was still trading on Monday for 1.28 euros, is to be removed from the list after the takeover. On Tuesday it slumped 80 percent to 26 cents.

Adler fashion chain had to file for bankruptcy in January

Zeitfracht is a Berlin-based logistics company; it was better known in the course of an earlier one insolvency acquired: that of the Air Berlin airline. In 2019 Zeitfracht bought Air Berlin subsidiary Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (LGW), which was part of the Corona-Crisis However, it had to cease operations in 2020. So far, however, the Berliners have not been active in the textile industry.

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The chain, which specializes in fashion for the over-50s, filed for bankruptcy in the middle of lockdown in January in order to reorganize itself under self-administration. The company attributed the bankruptcy to the months of forced store closings in the corona pandemic and the associated slump in sales.

Creditors vote on insolvency plan at the end of July

The major shareholder could not help Adler – he is insolvent himself. After months of struggle, the company had received a state bridging loan of ten million euros to bridge the time until an investor was found. Since the reopening of the last branches, the demand has developed well, said Freude.

“Our goal is to get Adler out of bankruptcy by the end of August and thus already after seven months,” said restructuring expert Christian Gerloff, who was hired as a restructuring agent. The creditors should vote on the insolvency plan with Zeitfracht’s offer at the end of July.

Adler Modemärkte AG had sales of around 495.4 million euros in 2019 and employed around 3,350 people at the end of September 2020. According to its own information, the group currently operates 171 fashion stores, of which 142 are in Germany, 24 in Austria, three in Luxembourg, two in Switzerland and one Onlineshop.

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