Royal Imtech NV, a major traditional European engineering and technical services provider based in the Netherlands, filed for bankruptcy in August after huge losses (allegedly due to fraud and corruption) emerged at its German and Polish subsidiaries. Imtech had a revenue base of around €4 billion, but posted accumulated losses of over €1.1 billion in 2013 and 2014. It employed 22,000 people. It was also a contractor at the much delayed new Berlin airport and is being investigated by German authorities for allegedly conspiring to overcharge energy company RWE for building a power plant, bribery and other misdeeds. Interestingly, though Imtech’s history goes back to 1858 (as a maker of heating systems for greenhouses), it only received the title “Royal” in 2011, even after numerous critical reports about the way it conducted business had been published. In July 2015 the German newspaper die Zeit published a damning article (in German) accusing the company of criminal dealings and of setting up a fraudulent system of causing delays for profit in major construction and installation projects, including the long suffering Berlin airport project (which is currently 600% over budget and delayed by a number of years).
Over the past few weeks the administrators have been announcing sell-offs of various Imtech units, mainly to financial investors, which will at least have some impact on the competitive situation in the markets where the company operated -particularly when the investors sell them on:
Imtech Marine was sold to Pon Holdings (a Dutch transport conglomerate) and Parcom Capital, a private equity firm.
Imtech Nordic was sold to the Group’s bankers, while its traffic and infrastructure unit was sold to Egeria, another private equity firm. Imtech Belgium was sold to Cordeel Groep, a Belgian construction company.
Imtech Industrial Services on the other hand will be broken up and sold in pieces: Kentech an Irish construction and industrial services provider will acquire the company’s contracts with Shell Pernis and Shell Moerdijk (circa 180 people), Verwater, a construction and maintenance services provider specializing in tanks will acquire the activities of Imtech Industrial Services in Amsterdam and Coevorden (230 people) while Convoi, a company offering relocation of machine installations and industrial plants will acquire Imtech IS activities in Kerkrade and Roermond (80 people). Finally Cegelec, a French energy and technical services provider, will acquire the company’s in Goes and the contract with Kuwait Petroleum (80 people).
Administrators are still in negotations about the transfer of Imtech Industrial Services activities in Amersfoort, Leeuwarden and Drachten while Imtech Suir Engineering Ltd (Imtech Ireland) as well as the English Imtech companies were sold to Endless LLP, a buy-out firm specializing in turn-arounds, excluding Imtech Waste and Energy (UK) which could not be salvaged.
Will anybody buy Imtech Germany? Don’t bet on it
Categories: Companies & Markets