12-01-2020

Insolvency proceedings terminated: Esprit regains control over European business




On November 30, 2020, the Düsseldorf Insolvency Court issued resolutions terminating the insolvency proceedings of six German subsidiaries of the Esprit Group. As a result, Esprit Holdings Limited, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, remains the sole shareholder of these subsidiaries that account for the key part of Esprit Group’s business operations.

A team led by Dr. Marc Scheunemann and Prof. Dr. Georg Streit, both partners at the law firm Heuking, advised the Esprit Group on legal and tax aspects of the restructuring. 

On March 27, 2020, Heuking succeeded in having protective shielding proceedings initiated for six German Esprit companies at the Düsseldorf Local Court as a result of the extensive temporary store closures in Europe and Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 1, 2020, the Düsseldorf Local Court initiated the insolvency proceedings in self-administration. On October 29 and 30, 2020, the creditors, by large majorities, approved the insolvency plans prepared by Heuking for the six German subsidiaries. On October 30, 2020, the Düsseldorf Local Court confirmed the insolvency plans on October 30, 2020. The plan confirmation resolutions became legally binding on November 14, 2020.

Anders Kristiansen, Group CEO of Esprit: “By terminating the insolvency proceedings, Esprit will be able to resume operations under its own control. The decision to proactively enter into the protective shield proceedings in March allowed us to ensure that Esprit remains operating as a brand and as a company. Over the past eight months, our advisors Dr. Marc Scheunemann and Prof. Georg Streit from Heuking, our general representative Detlef Specovius from Schultze und Braun and our custodian Dr. Biner Bähr from White & Case have navigated us safely through the complex insolvency proceedings in self-administration. We have achieved all our restructuring objectives. Esprit is now fit and leaner for the future.”

Esprit is an international fashion group with headquarters in Germany and Hong Kong, which developed the philosophy of “authenticity instead of unnatural perfectionism, cohesion instead of exclusion, and colorful joie de vivre instead of gray everyday life.” The company was founded in California in 1968 and today has a presence in 40 countries around the globe. Esprit has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1993.

Counsel to Esprit Group
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:

Lead
Dr. Marc Scheunemann, LL.M. (Corporate / Tax), Düsseldorf/Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Georg Streit (Restructuring / Insolvency), Munich

Restructuring
Dr. Arnold Büssemaker, Licencié en droit
Dr. Fabian Bürk, LL.M., 
Dr. Kai Uwe Büchler, 
Sarah Kraft, LL.B. (all Restructuring), all Munich 
Tobias Leege (Restructuring), Chemnitz

Corporate Finance
Dr. Guido Hoffmann, LL.M. (Corporate / Finance), 
Dr. Christian Appelbaum (Corporate / Commercial), 
Matthias M. Bosbach (Corporate / Finance), all Düsseldorf
Dr. Helge-Torsten Wöhlert (Corporate), 
Dr. Frank Metz (Corporate), both Munich
Dr. Christoph Gringel (Supervisory Law), Frankfurt

Tax
Dr. Stephan Degen, Maître en Droit (Tax / Restructuring), 
Dr. Martin Ströhmann, LL.M. (Tax), 
Peter Michael Schäffler (Tax), 
Daniel Sommer (Tax), all Munich 
Marion Sangen-Emden (Tax / Corporate), Düsseldorf

Real Estate
Dr. Peter Zimmermann, 
Dr. Stefan Osing, 
Dr. Tilman Spancken, 
Dr. Tanja Rodiek,
Kathrin T. Paulet,
Mathis Dick, LL.M.
Felix Erler 
Stephan Freund 
Janina Theven (all Real Estate), all Düsseldorf

Employment
Prof. Dr. Martin Reufels, LL.M., Cologne
Christoph Hexel, Düsseldorf
Ria Göbel, Chemnitz
Markus Schmülling, Cologne
Dr. Alexander Bork, Düsseldorf
Torsten Groß, LL.M., Düsseldorf
Dr. Antonia Stein, Stuttgart
Natalia Dinnebier, Stuttgart
Dr. Johan-Michel Menke, LL.M., Hamburg
Dr. Arietta von Stechow (all Employment), Hamburg

Public Law
Michael Below 
Dr. Anne Schulz (both Public Law), both Düsseldorf

Insurance
Dr. Herbert Palmberger, M.C.J., Düsseldorf 
René Krohn, LL.M. (both Insurance), Hamburg 

IP
Dr. Georg Jacobs, LL.M., Düsseldorf
Dr. Verena Hoene, LL.M. (both IP), Cologne

Antitrust
Dr. Rainer Velte (Antitrust), Düsseldorf

Contacts

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