For millions of Germans, the pedal racing car Kettcar is an unforgettable piece of childhood: But now threatens the manufacturer Kettler off. If it fails to ensure short-term interim financing for the ailing company, the business will be discontinued this Friday, the company told the German Press Agency on Tuesday. The approximately 720 employees would then be released.
Kettler had already filed a petition for bankruptcy in July. The goal was a reorientation with the help of a Luxembourg investor. However, the investor threw in the towel when the Heinz Kettler Foundation was not ready to meet its demands.
Kettler relies on help from North Rhine-Westphalia
The company now has great hopes for a moderation attempt by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, to which all parties involved, including the foundation, were invited to Düsseldorf. It is likely to be mainly bridge financing, which should allow the company to conduct further discussions with potential investors.
According to the Dusseldorf Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Heinz Kettler Foundation plays a key role here. In order to find a new investor at all and thus make it possible to preserve the company, "an immediate decision by the Kettler Foundation on the amount of its contribution is absolutely necessary," the ministry said.
Company Kettler has been fighting for years for economic survival
However, according to the ministry, a reaction by the representatives of the foundation's board of trustees to the invitation to a round table was still pending on Tuesday afternoon. "Without the involvement of the Board of Trustees, however, a solution does not seem realistic," said a spokesman for the authorities. "We hope that ultimately, in the interest of the company, all parties can still find a cooperative attitude." Initially no statement was received from the foundation itself.
Kettler has been fighting for years for survival. As early as 2015, it had to file for bankruptcy for the first time. But succeeded after the reduction of about 200 jobs and the sale of the bicycle division a fresh start. In 2017, a fatal car accident by the Kettler heiress, Karin Kettler, caused new turbulence.