Kovats earmarks own fortune to save A-Tec

A-Tec Industries AG boss Mirko Kovats will spend his own assets to save his struggling company, according to a report.Business newspaper WirtschaftsBlatt reported today (Weds) that the businessman will contribute a “substantial amount” to get the firm back on track.Kovats sent shock waves through the Austrian economy last week when he informed shareholders that he decided to file for bankruptcy.A-Tec is one of Austria’s most powerful industrial companies. The Vienna-based firm, which has around 12,000 employees in 16 countries, has acquired several ailing businesses over the years, to restore their finances and sell on for a profit. It is mainly engaged in the steel and tool-making industry. A-Tec made a turnover of three billion Euros last year.Its insolvency is the third-biggest in the history of Austria. Liabilities range around 677 million Euros.Kovats named the financial difficulties of subsidiary Austrian Energy & Environment (AE&E) and the short-term cancellation of significant orders as responsible for A-Tec’s current situation.The board of creditors featuring several banks like Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) have been holding talks during the past few days over whether the firm could be kept alive.Kovats is one of Austria’s most controversial businessmen. The A-Tec chief claimed in an interview with the Kurier newspaper in July that Austria was getting poorer as the government was unable to carry out urgently needed reforms.The entrepreneur, who was born to a family of Hungarian immigrants, said: “I’m pessimistic about Austria’s future as a business location. (…) Slowly but surely, we’re getting poorer.”Kovats claimed no industrial company was considering settling in Austria these days due to excessive bureaucracy, high non-wage labour costs and the authorities’ strict regulations.”India wants to grow, people are working very hard there. Meanwhile, Austrian students go on strike. I won’t decide the outcome – people who buy cheap products will,” he said.Asked whether he would agree that the Austrian economy has nevertheless been doing well due to its tourism branch, Kovats said: “We can’t live on yodelling only. (…) The tourism sector creates work – but these jobs are badly paid.”