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Märklin exits insolvency

By Hal Miller
Published: January 6, 2011

German model railroad manufacturer Märklin is putting insolvency behind it and moving forward with a restructuring plan approved by creditors in December.

Under the plan, Märklin will pay 33 million euros ($43.6 million) to creditors immediately. According to German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt, the secured creditors — banks including Kreissparkasse Göppingen, BW-Bank and Goldman Sachs — will get the lion’s share of the payout, 27 million euros ($35.7 million).

Unsecured creditors will get 2.5 million euros ($3.3 million).

A Märklin release says a plan is in place to return 100% of claims if the company sells. The creditors’ claims had amounted to about 90 million euros ($119 million) in total, with approximately 61 million euros ($80 million) of that owed to the banks.

The company has a new CEO, Stefan Löbich, and will be overseen by Märklin Holdings GmbH, with a 3-person committee to monitor management, including insolvency trustee Michael Pluta, former managing director Dr. Kurt Seitzinger and a representative of the creditors.

The company looked unsuccessfully for a buyer in 2010, and begins 2011 under its own steam. Pluta estimates the company’s 2010 earnings before taxes and interest (EBIT) at 9 million euros ($12 million) on sales of 111 millon euros ($146 million).