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BBS Is Bankrupt Again, “Extensive Restructuring” Underway

We all heard of BBS, but the wheel manufacturer from Germany goes a long, long way back, longer than some might expect. Named after its founders and the city of Schiltach, the 50-year-old company revolutionized motorsports with the introduction of a three-piece racing wheel in 1972. After that trailblazing moment, business kept booming.
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After going public in 1980, the peeps at BBS adopted an aggressive expansion plan that resulted in the opening of a branch in Japan, one in the United States, and a further one in Italy. To understand how much money went into globalizing the brand, remember that the Benetton Renault driven by Michael Schumacher to his second world title featured BBS wheels and Goodyear tires.

Bankruptcy, however, was inevitable. BBS went under in 2007, and as a consequence, Punch International acquired and reorganized it. Four years later, the second bankruptcy put an even greater dent in the company.

Fast-forward to July 2020, and once again, BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik AG is facing insolvency. “Due to the unexpected disappearance of promised payments, insolvency threatens in the coming months,” reads a statement from the company. The ongoing health crisis has hit sales pretty hard, and BBS isn’t the only OEM and aftermarket manufacturer in trouble.

Under insolvency administrator and lawyer Thomas Oberle, the company aims to continue its “extensive restructuring course” in order to bounce back to profitability. “We have a time of change ahead of us,” reads another statement, and obviously, securing the financial future of BBS is top priority.

Considering that Oberle has also administrated the previous insolvency from 2011, it’s high time for the administrator to prove the naysayers wrong. However, it won’t be an easy job if you take a look at the ridiculously low share price of BBS.

Rest assured, though. The factories will keep churning out wheels during the restructuring process, and with a little bit of luck, NICE Holdings Co. may find a new owner for the cash-strapped wheel manufacturer. At the time of writing, BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik AG employs around 1,200 people.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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