German company files insolvency petition / Four units in two countries and 2,000 employees are affected
The series of takeovers that have dominated the recent history of German automotive supplier Henniges Automotive Grefrath (Grefrath) do not seem to have done the company much good. Henniges and the associated Henniges Automotive Grefrath Technical Center (Grefrath), for several years in the hands of private equity investors, went into receivership on 27 November 2008, along with a subsidiary in the Czech Republic. Wolf-Rüdiger von der Fecht (Düsseldorf / Germany) has been appointed provisional administrator. Affected are the 815 employees in Grefrath and a further 1,200 Ostrava and Pribor in the Czech Republic.

Production is continuing for the present. The administrator has expressed optimism that the Grefrath facility can be saved and plans to conduct talks with its three main customers – Volkswagen/Audi, BMW and Daimler – about new projects. The company’s order books are said to be well filled, with orders on hand sufficient to guarantee production up to 2010; nevertheless, it is almost certain that jobs will be lost. The aim is to sell the company to an investor with a convincing forward strategy.

The company’s four injection moulding and extrusion facilities manufacture EPDM, TPE, TPV and PVC glassrun and door seals for vehicles (see Plasteurope.com of 02.09.2004). Like the other 13 companies in the Henniges group – which also manufactures sound insulating and anti-vibration systems – these units currently belong to Wynnchurch Capital (Chicago, Illinois / USA; www.wynnchurch.com).

Parent company Henniges Automotive (Farmington Hills, Michigan / USA) was formed in 2007 through the merger of US sealant producer GDX Automotive (which had its European headquarters in Grefrath), with the US-based Metzeler Automotive Profile Systems, previously acquired by Wynnchurch. Before that the European sites operated under a variety of names as part of the British group Laird Security Systems. From 2001 they were owned by the US defence and fine chemicals group GenCorp and in 2004 they were acquired by Cerberus Capital Management.

05.12.2008 Plasteurope.com [212343]
Published on 05.12.2008
Henniges: Zulieferer stellt InsolvenzantragGerman version of this article...

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