GER - Ortrander Eisenhütte announces Bankruptcy

The Ortrander Ironworks has unexpectedly filed for bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the CEO remains optimistic. Operation should be continued without interruption.

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Bankruptcy proceedings were opened on Wednesday for Ortrander Eisenhütte. This is confirmed by the director of the Cottbus district court, Michael Höhr, as well as the managing director of the company, Bernd H. Williams-Boock. The officially stated reason remains vague. The company had to adapt to changing market demand. In the spring, the three-shift operation had been switched to two shifts, explains Williams-Boock. That worked well at the beginning.

"Productivity could be increased. The capital side could not be adjusted," said Williams-Boock on Thursday on RUNDSCHAU demand.

After it was determined that the intended "reorganization of corporate financing" would not succeed without a judicial procedure, the management decided to take this step with the support of "experienced restructuring experts".

"The possibilities of modern bankruptcy law are intended to pave the way for a long-term safeguard for the future of Ortrander Eisenhütte GmbH through an insolvency plan," says Williams-Boock. As a provisional insolvency administrator, the district court assigned the Dresden lawyer Olaf Seidel.

Managing director of the ironworks is optimistic
Nevertheless, the manager of the largest employer in Ortrand exudes a lot of confidence. "The company will live on," says Williams-Boock. It currently looks as though no employees have to be terminated - if so, then only a few, so Williams-Boock. The wages of the 234 employees currently affected by the bankruptcy are covered by insolvency insurance until the end of December 2019. Business should continue without restrictions. Together with the managing director, the entire workforce counts on the loyalty of their customers and suppliers.

Bankruptcy of Ortrander Ironworks comes as a surprise
The bankruptcy comes as a surprise. The company grew over the past 25 years. 115 employees were employed in 1993. In the end, including temporary workers, a total of around 330 people worked at the plant. The turnover figures have been rising year after year for 15 years, to around 50 million euros today. The export rate is about 70 percent. There are customers worldwide - even in Brazil and Japan the Ortrander quality is appreciated. But the main market is Europe, making up more than 90 percent of all orders. 

Ortrander Eisenhütte GmbH is a foundry that manufactures thin-walled, weight-saving cast iron products for the automotive, stove and furnace industries as well as the household appliances industry.

Source: Jan Augustin,