Skatlop will become the new owner of the Ostrava company Vítkovice Heavy Machinery (VHM). The company won the public auction when it offered the highest price. He will pay over 1.2 billion crowns for it. The creditor committee and the secured creditors have already agreed to the auction result, so there is nothing to prevent the sale. Skatlop’s media representative stated that the company wants to revitalize the industrial area and does not intend to continue with the current production program.
“From the point of view of creditors, this is an excellent result, which is three times the starting price and probably the highest amount ever obtained by selling an industrial site in insolvency in the Czech Republic. I also consider it essential that, unlike many other engineering companies in bankruptcy, we managed to keep the company going. Production did not stop, “said Zrůst. According to him, the company was sold at such a high price thanks to the court’s efficiency and the constructive approach of creditors.
“We do not plan to continue the existing production program of VHM, which unfortunately currently proves unprofitable. We perceive the acquisition as an interesting opportunity, and we would like to use the potential of this industrial site in the center of Ostrava-Vítkovice for its revitalization and further development,” said a spokesperson for Skatlop, which operates in finance and business.
According to earlier information, the new owner should pay the purchase price by March 11. A day later is the deadline for concluding a contract for the plant’s transfer, and March 15 is the decisive day for the transfer of VHM to a new owner.
Vítkovice, which is one of the creditors and the original owner of the minority stake in VHM, appreciated the consistency of Konreo and the bankruptcy trustee’s approach. “It turned out that it is possible to secure a revenue from the sale of former Vítkovice property in the hundreds of millions of crowns or even a revenue exceeding one billion crowns,” said Vítkovic spokeswoman Eva Kijonková. The company was afraid that the situation from the bankruptcy of the similarly sized company Vítkovice Power Engineering, from the sale of which the revenue was only units of millions of crowns, would not be repeated.
“We believe that the new acquirer of VHM, Skatlop, will soon tell us its visions for the further development of VHM, which is adjacent to our assets, and we will not oppose appropriate forms of cooperation if they are offered to us,” said Kijonková.
The creditors’ receivables, which amount to about 1.7 billion crowns, will be partially satisfied with the new owner’s price. The auction sold one area as a whole on more than 50 hectares of land, including huge halls, machinery, materials, employees, and know-how. An independent opinion calculated the estimated price at 1.3 billion crowns. Almost 300 people work in VHM, and the company still produces.
VHM is a producer of steel and steel products. They are a supplier of parts for the nuclear, hydro, and wind energy, mining, and shipbuilding industries. The company got into trouble in 2018 as part of the engineering holding of the Ostrava businessman Jan Světlík. During the reorganization, it was taken over by the company of the founder of the Czechoslovak Group holding, Jaroslav Strnad, who invested money in the company.
So far, the majority owner of VHM is Strnadův holding CE Power Industries. The insolvency petition was filed last year by the management. The company was loss-making for a long time and could not pay its liabilities, especially for energy supplies. The problems were exacerbated by the coronavirus and measures against its spread.
Hubatka stated that the Skatlop company is owned by the Olomouc businessman Karel Hubáček, who has many years of experience in the business and financial spheres. “Among other things, he is currently focusing on investment opportunities in the field of industrial parks and areas in cooperation with Accolade. He has also been cooperating with the Credits group, which belongs to his cousin Pavel Hubáček, for a long time,” said Hubatka.