Pantherwerke AG Filed for Insolvency
BIELEFELD, Germany – The responsible insolvency court in Bielefeld, Germany confirmed to Bike Europe that Pantherwerke AG filed for insolvency on February 3, 2014
Pantherwerke was founded in 1896 and is one of the largest bike suppliers in Germany. Pantherwerke operated subsidiaries in Lithuania (UAB Baltic Vairas) and in Czech Republic (Master Bike SRO) with an annual production of 450,000 bicycles. Last November Baltic Vairas was sold.
Based in Löhne, Germany Pantherwerke’s insolvency case is still in process at the court which up to today hasn’t appointed a receiver yet. This is expected to take place tomorrow of the day after. The receiver is to investigate the reasons for the insolvency as well as the proceedings and is expected to make further announcements on short notice.
For industry insiders the insolvency didn’t come out of the blue. In November 2013 Pantherwerke AG sold its Baltik Vairas factory in Lithuania to a Danish investment group related to Niels Peter Preztmann, a board member of UAB Baltik Vairas. On 20 December 2013 Balik Vairas registered a German subsidiary under the name BV Cycles GmbH. BV Cycles is based in Bielefeld and is headed by Andre Fuchs. This move underlined that Baltk Vairas wants to sell it products by itself on the German market.
Bike Building GmbH
Beginning of 2014 a new company named Bike Building GmbH started in Löhne. This company is located on the former factory ground of Pantherwerke. End of 2012 the company stopped its bike production here completely and the remaining assembly operation was moved to Lithuania. At this moment it’s still the question how the new founded company Bike Building GmbH (GM: Oliver Runde) with its focus on painting and assembly will be affected by the insolvency of Pantherwerke.
Moreover, currently it is not clear how Pantherwerke’s Czech subsidiary Masterbike SRO is affected by the insolvency. Further info on that will follow out as soon as the receiver is appointed and starts the insolvency proceedings.