Cologne-based Hess Automotive filed an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings with the District Court of Cologne. The court approved the procedure and attorney Dr. Christoph Niering Partner at NIERING STOCK TÖMP Rechtsanwälte appointed provisional insolvency administrator. The move is intended to continue the company’s restructuring program and enable an investor to get involved.
The company, headquartered in Cologne, employs around 1,500 people and is one of the leading car parts wholesalers for workshops and specialist dealers. Hess Automotive has also grown successfully in recent years through the integration of competitors such as Jakobs, Schwenker and Werthenbach Autoteile. Most recently, however, the order volume had seasonally developed significantly weaker due to the ongoing corona situation and regional losses in the aftermath of the flood disaster last year and the company’s liquidity situation had become noticeably worse.
“We are convinced that we will emerge stronger from this crisis,” says Philipp Hess, Managing Director and member of the owner family. The automotive parts market is in a phase of strong consolidation and concentration. New strength is important for Hess here in order to keep up with the international chains and other major competitors. In this competitive environment lies a decisive advantage for the company. Hess: “We have perfected our processes in same-day logistics, thereby creating a digital customer experience that not many in the automotive spare parts market can match. In addition, we consciously seek a very personal exchange, which is important for our customers.”
The provisional insolvency administrator now wants to ensure that Hess Automotive’s business operations can be stabilized and continued. New goods ordered by Hess are also paid for and goods continue to be delivered to customers. The salaries of the employees are covered by the insolvency money. Dr. Niering: “Together with the management, we will try to maintain the operative business and to work out a long-term continuation solution.” The procedure gives the company room to breathe again and prepares the entry of an investor. There are already reliable inquiries that we can now specify.”
Hess Automotive 24.02.2022