Stürtz in Germany Files for Insolvency

January 9, 2013

Willi Stürtz Maschinenbau GmbH, the manufacturer of vinyl window and door production equipment, has filed for insolvency at its local court in Neuwied, Germany.  Business operations and production continue, however, at its headquarters in Germany, and at its U.S. operation, Stürtz Machinery Inc., in Twinsburg, Ohio.

"The day to day business here in the States is unaffected," reports Ellis L. Dillen, VP and COO at the U.S. company.  "We are a separate corporation so the court appointed overseer in Germany is not involved in our operation."  

North American customers, he continues, are not seeing any impact from the filing. Stürtz Machinery is still delivering on all orders and remains on schedule with our backlog.  Service operations remain the same as well.  "We are building and delivering machinery," Dillen explains. "The process of the filing in Germany protects the workers and their salaries over there so the company can continue meeting delivery schedules and producing machinery." 

Subsidiaries in France and Rumania, as well as operations at its international sales partners in Canada, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia and Poland, are also not affected, officials at Stürtz in Germany point out.  During the coming weeks, management will be holding talks with potential investors "to free [Stürtz Maschinenbau] from its debts, improve and sustain liquidity and reestablish competitiveness for the specialists for the manufacture of machinery for uPVC window production."

“I believe this company of long-standing tradition has good chances of being able to continue business," says Jens Lieser, the court-appointed insolvency administrator. "Stürtz Maschinenbau has years of experience and know-how in the automated uPVC window production field as well as skilled employees and strong worldwide marketing."

"We will proceed with the reorganizational measures already started, because we believe in the future of the company," says Karl-Heinz Stürtz, manager and sole shareholder of the family business. "It is essential that we overcome this difficult phase in order to regain our strength and retain our position on the market."

"In the long run, Stürtz will come out of this stronger," says Dillen. "We all know that an organization and employees in that organization can sometimes become complacent. This type of 'awakening' can and most times does show areas of an organization that are producing extremely well, while also identifying areas where improvement is needed. Granted this is not the 'wake up call' we would have liked to receive, but it has been received and is being acted upon diligently."

Negotiations with investors are ongoing, Dillen notes, and the company is making good progress toward finalizing a deal.