Vulcast Jünkerath is looking for a new investor

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Vulcast Jünkerath: Insolvency administrator and union fight for the preservation of 200 jobs

An investor is being sought for the traditional iron foundry. Corona, short-time work and the flood disaster have a share in the imbalance. But IG Metall also sees failures on the part of management.

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The plant is now going into its fourth insolvency procedure since 1999, says Christian Schmitz, head of IG Metall Trier. This time, too, the situation for the employees is serious, but not hopeless: “The foundry’s order books are well filled. Together with the appointed insolvency administrator Ingo Grünewald, we now have to clear the way so that Jünkerath can continue,” says Schmitz. A social plan for the employees does not have to be drawn up.

Vulcast GmbH, formerly Ergocast, has been part of the holding company “Callista Private Equity” based in Munich since 2019. At the same time as the opening of the insolvency proceedings, a new investor is being sought, business operations will be continued together with the provisional insolvency administrator and lawyer Ingo Grünewald, according to a press release from the commissioned law firm Schmidt in Trier.

“A report on the company’s assets is currently being drawn up,” says Guido Joswig, press spokesman for the law firm. “At the same time, the search for a possible investor is underway under high pressure and in cooperation with the consulting company Mentor AG.”

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The balancing act between well-filled order books and exploding energy and raw material prices can only be mastered together with the current management and the customers, it is said.

The takeover by the current shareholders in 2019 is not the cause of the current problem,” says Joswig. “The industry is going through difficult times, the market situation is tense.” But because of this crisis, selling the iron foundry to a company that needs machine and hand-moulded castings for its own production is an obvious option.

“The foundry in Jünkerath needs a new leader who has a strategic interest in continuing operations,” says IG Metall boss Christian Schmitz. He accuses the current management of omissions: “For example, there have been no annual accounts since the takeover by the holding company Callista. But without this evidence, neither emergency aid for the plant, which was severely affected by the flood in 2021, nor exemption from the EEG surcharge for energy-intensive companies could be applied for,” Schmitz lists.

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In his opinion, price renegotiations with suppliers and customers should now be initiated quickly. “If the figures are not in the black within three months or if no investor is found, the plant is threatened with closure. In this case, the insolvency proceedings will not be continued,” says Christian Schmitz.

But it’s not that far yet, you have to look ahead and get rid of the existing problems. “We wish the insolvency administrator the best of luck and, as a trade union, will support his work positively,” says Schmitz.

“The economic foundations must now be created so that no jobs are lost.” There is no way things can go on like this: “The company has been steadily going from bad to worse since 1999, despite a stable order situation. That definitely has to change with a new investor,” says the IG Metall boss.