Berufsförderungswerk (BFW) Hamburg filed the insolvency plan with the competent Hamburg Local Court within the prescribed period on Friday, August 23, 2013. The plan had been drafted by a Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek team led by Hamburg-based partner Dr. Johan Schneider with collaboration of BFW's general proxy, Stefan Denkhaus of BRL Boege Rohde Luebbehusen, and trustee Peter-Alexander Borchardt in the three months since the petition for protective cover proceedings had been filed on May 24, 2013.
"By filing within the prescribed period, BFW reached an important milestone as scheduled on the way to lasting reorganization of the company and forward-looking vocational advancement service in Hamburg," said Schneider. The insolvency plan is likely to be voted on at the beginning of November. It provides for an insolvency rate of more than 30% for the unsecured creditors. In the best-case scenario, the proceedings could therefore be rescinded already six months after the protective cover petition.
In addition to drafting the insolvency plan, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek supported management and BRL on extensive negotiations with the works council regarding the move of 150 employees to a transfer company as part of the necessary adjustment in number of personnel. In parallel, the team led by Dr. Schneider successfully concluded negotiations with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg - the sole shareholder of BFW - on additional assets of the transfer company.
In addition, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek legally advised and supported BFW on the sale of land and real estate no longer required for its operations, including partial space to be depreciated of the company's premises at August-Krogmann-Straße on which 300 housing units are to be developed in the future. The negotiations with the mortgage creditors on financial contributions for the scheduled relocation and reconstruction of BFW are still ongoing with assistance by Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. A result is expected in September.
The creditors' committee, the trustee and the creditors' meeting, to be held on September 27, 2013, must still agree to the sale of the real property.
Hamburger Berufsförderungswerk GmbH was established in 1962 and considers itself a modern, value-oriented enterprise in the social area. The company has as its objective the opening of new perspectives in the work and occupation fields for health-impaired adults. This is to occur through training, qualification and by means of information, advice, diagnostics, and placement of the persons looking for work. Berufsförderungswerk still employs a staff of 170 after the necessary reduction in personnel. Hamburg-based BFW is financed by statutory pension insurers Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nord, the statutory accident insurers (DGUV) and the Federal Agency for Work, which all are also creditors. In addition, further public creditors are involved.
Counsel to Hamburger Berufsförderungswerk GmbH:
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Hamburg
Dr. Johan Schneider (Lead),
Dr. Marcus Georg Tischler (all Insolvency Law/Reorganization),
Dr. Michael Dröge (Real Estate),
Dr. Sönke Görgens (Real Estate/Administrative Law),
Fabian G. Gaffron (Tax)