Ferdinands Richter GmbH & Co KG – which claims to be Europe’s oldest and most traditional children’s shoe company – based in Pasching (Upper Austria) and managed in Graz – filed for bankruptcy in the Graz regional court on Monday. A restructuring process without self-administration has been initiated and is planned to be continued. Excessive indebtedness amounts to approximately 7 million euros. According to credit watchdogs AKV, Creditreform and KSV, 20 employees and around 120 creditors are affected.
The company also operates in the design, development and manufacturing as well as wholesale trade of shoes, shoe parts and accessories – specializing in children’s and youth footwear. Liabilities amount to approximately 7.9 million euros, assets to approximately 0.92 million euros. The insolvency administrator is Graz lawyer Arno Roman Lerchbaumer. Insolvent creditors should receive a quota of 20 per cent of their claims, which will be payable within 24 months of the approval of the restructuring plan. This must be funded by operations, warehouse use and, if necessary, financing from third parties. The audit and reporting meeting was scheduled for January 11, 2024.
According to the company, the Covid pandemic mainly contributed to the bankruptcy. As a result of the prolonged lockdown and the associated reduction in trade volumes, an unexpected need for financing became necessary. This was covered by bridging financing, shareholder support and government funding. But ultimately, lack of clarity regarding claims for compensation for losses led to an imbalance. According to AKV, the available working capital line was not sufficient for this.
Richter Producing children’s shoes since 1893. In recent years, with the development of the first fully sustainable shoes, there has been a particular emphasis on the sustainability of the shoe range. ,Richter shoes” were initially made by the Austrian company Ferdinand Richter Before the company was converted into applicant in 2020 the GmbH was based in Pasching (Upper Austria). Production takes place in Europe and Asia; The main sales markets are currently Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.
The headquarters in Pasching has historical roots, but neither production nor warehouses have been located there for some time. It was outsourced to a Slovakian subsidiary several years ago. Only a few employees of the internal administration are still in Pasching. The actual factual management – especially strategic and commercial management – takes place in Graz.