Warendorf Küchenfabrik has filed for insolvency after liquidity problems caused by the economic situation in China meant that its Chinese investor could no longer provide financial backing to the manufacturer at this time. The Chinese investor, who stepped in to save the company from going into administration in 2019 and is also the company’s distributor in China, is said to be facing major challenges in its domestic market. China’s ‘zero COVID’ policy is having a wide-ranging negative impact on the construction industry there, with serious effects for Warendorf’s project business too. According to the appointed administrator Pluta, a large order firmly committed to for November and December was postponed to some indefinite date in 2023. This led to a considerable drop in sales and, ultimately, a liquidity shortage.
The company’s 100 or so employees have already been informed about the situation by the relevant people in charge. Their salaries are guaranteed for a period of three months thanks to specific substitute benefits provided under German insolvency law.
Daniel Griehl, MD of Warendorf, said: “This situation took me very much by surprise, especially considering how little time I have had at Warendorf yet, and the entire team too – all the more so as the way forward looks so promising and positive at this time. We have been able to increase year-on-year sales for the current year by around 20%, acquire ambitious new customers and develop a clear differentiation strategy. I firmly believe that Warendorf can become one of the most successful premium brands and I very much hope that we will find a solution for this situation.”
The company showcased the Konzept 1 kitchen design, pictured here, at the company’s 2022 in-house exhibition. This kitchen concept is said to have been well received by customers and partners and, according to Pluta, marks the 'first step in the company’s strategic product and brand repositioning, focused on the domestic market in Germany and an international dimension'.
Stefan Meyer, who is leading the restructuring team from Pluta, said: “The business will continue operating. We will now analyse all existing orders as quickly as possible. Following an initial assessment, we will then contact customers to inform them about the next steps.”
Warendorf Küchenfabrik GmbH achieved revenues of approximately 8million euros in 2021.