Pantherwerke: Court Starts Insolvency Proceedings
BIELEFELD, Germany – The Bielefeld insolvency court announced that the Pantherwerke AG insolvency proceedings are handled by Bielefeld-based Law and Accountancy firm Brinkmann & Partner. Also, at the former Pantherwerke grounds a continuation of production is likely to take place through a new, partly Schminke family owned company.
Laywer Dr. Thorsten Fuest from Brinkmann & Partner has been appointed as temporary receiver. At this moment he could not say anything on the Pantherwerke insolvency as he has to study the case.
Schminke family bicycle empire
Panther was founded in 1896. Richard Schminke acquired the company in 1962. Today his son Michael Schminke manages the family-run business. The Schminke family bicycle empire consists – aside Pantherwerke that next to OEM-production also operates under the company’s own brands like Bauer, Göricke and Panther – also of Czech bike producer Master Bike sro and in the past of Lithuanian UAB Baltik Vairas which has been sold end of 2013. The three companies together formed Pantherwerke International GmbH and were once producing 450,000 bicycles annually.
BV Cycles GmbH
Since the sale of Baltik Vairas several things changed. On 20 December 2013 Baltik Vairas registered a new company at the Commercial Court in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. This wholly owned German subsidiary is named BV Cycles GmbH (“BV” stands for “Baltik Vairas”) and is actually searching for employees currently. More on this company is in the article “Pantherwerke Blames Baltik Vairas for Insolvency” on this website.
Bike Building GmbH
Moreover another new company was registered at the Commercial Court in Bad Oeynhausen. Bike Building GmbH was put into operation at the very beginning of 2014. It is located at the former factory grounds of Pantherwerke AG in Löhne, Germany and will concentrate on assembling and painting bicycles. GM of Bike Building GmbH is Oliver Runde. Bike Europe sent a request to the Commercial Court Bad Oeynhausen asking about the shareholders of this new company: There are two: Oliver Runde and Andreas Schminke from the Schminke family.
The question is now to what extend Bike Building GmbH is affected by Pantherwerke’s insolvency. However, as Pantherwerke is not named as a shareholder it looks like Bike Building GmbH has been set-up to continue deliveries of bicycles after supplier Baltik Vairas apparently stopped that abruptly. Pantherwerke itself stopped producing bicycles in Löhne end of 2012 and moved it to its former sister company UAB Baltik Vairas.
Next to Bike Building GmbH the question is also how Master Bike sro will be affected by Pantherwerke AG’s insolvency?