German Car Component Maker Takes-Over MIFA
SANGERHAUSEN, Germany – On 11 December the state of Saxony-Anhalt announced to back-up the rescue of struggling bike producer Mitteldeutsche Fahrradwerke AG (MIFA) with warranties. With the guarantees from the state of Saxony-Anhalt all MIFA assets were sold to the Von Nathusius family, sole shareholder of German auto parts supplier IFA Rotorion-Holding GmbH.
“The final agreement to sell all of MIFA’s assets as part of the deal was reached and signed with the Nathusius family yesterday night,” stated Prof. Dr. Lucas F. Flöther, MIFA’s responsible insolvency administrator in today’s press release. Detailed terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Transfer of operations
The acquisition still needs to be approved by the anti-trust authority. Once the approval has been obtained, the transfer of operations is planned for 1 December 2014 in retrospective, whereby MIFA’s existing employment contracts will be transferred to the new owner.
The asset deal agreed by both parties has no direct effects on the stock market listing of MIFA in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Nevertheless since yesterday MIFA shares are experiencing a roller coaster ride that should go more uphill on a long-term base. On December 11 MIFA’s listing increased by 61.7% within one day.
About the new owner: IFA Rotorion Holding
The new MIFA owner acquired IFA-Rotorion in 1992 via a MBO from Treuhandanstalt Berlin. This was the agency appointed to privatize the former East German enterprises. Today IFA-Rotorion is a leading supplier of front and rear drive shafts and components for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. It is said that the company is one of the world’s leading shaft drive producers. The company is employing about 2,200 people worldwide and is based in Haldensleben in the state of Saxony-Anhalt; also home of MIFA. Sangerhausen where MIFA is based is approximately 120 kilometres south of Haldensleben.
Final administrator statement
“With the Von Nathusius family we found the ideal strategic partner for MIFA,” states administrator Flöther, “It’s a partner with a long-term strategy. Moreover both companies are a perfect fit in the IFA Rotorion-Holding. With their automobile and bicycle/e-bike products they are focusing the mobility market. This is a future business field. I am also extremely proud that not one single MIFA employee lost its job!”
Help and support of the state of Saxony-Anhalt
Flöther also points out that the help and support of the state of Saxony-Anhalt was key for the rescue of final MIFA: “Without this backing the continuation of MIFA would have been impossible.” The insolvency administrator thanks MIFA creditors, customers and suppliers for the support over the last cruel two and a half months. “Special thanks to all MIFA employees for their tireless efforts to take MIFA through these difficult days.”
“The MIFA takeover is a pre-Christmas present for all employees and the entire region,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister of Economy Hartmut Möllring. “We have great confidence in this new investor. The Von Nathusius family stands for outstanding business competence and owns the financial resources for a successful restart of MIFA.”
Investor Maschmeyer: Completely out
What’s not noted in all final reports and press releases is what happens with former MIFA majority shareholder and investor Carsten Maschmeyer. In October he said in an interview that he is willing to invest in MIFA again.
With the MIFA acquisition by the Von Nathusius family Maschmeyer’s remaining shares were also sold. Since his initial investment in MIFA in 2011 Maschmeyer lost a total of about 8 million euro. This was noted in the German business newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’.