A-Tec flogs German affiliated firm

Struggling A-Tec Industries AG (A-Tec) has sold another subsidiary company as it tries to get back on track.The company, which opted for controlled bankruptcy last October, announced today (Mon) that it decided to sell Dörries Scharmann Technologie GmbH (Dörries Scharmann) to internationally operating technology company StarragHeckert.Reports have it that the Swiss company is ready to fork out 70 million Euros for Dörries Scharmann, a tool-making firm which has its headquarters in the German city of Mönchengladbach. Dörries Scharmann has nearly 800 employees. It achieved a turnover of around 130 million Euros last year.The deal comes on the heels of A-Tec’s decision to accept Styrian rival Andritz AG’s takeover offer from Austrian Energy & Environment (AE&E). AE&E was A-Tec’s biggest and most active affiliated company before it had to stop operations when A-Tec failed to finance a major project in Australia.A-Tec’s bankruptcy came as somewhat of a shock for most analysts as the firm, which has around 12,000 staff, achieved a turnover of three billion Euros in 2009, down by just eight per cent compared to its performance in the previous year.The Austrian Creditors’ Protection Association (KSV 1870), which has been handling its insolvency, agreed with creditors last month that a buyer for the remaining branches of A-Tec must be found by the end of June. If attempts to find an investor to take over the firm in full by the end of the first half of this year fail, A-Tec will be split up and auctioned – a move which may axe a vast number of jobs in the company.A-Tec currently consists of engine maker ATB Austria Antriebstechnik (ATB), tool-producing subsidiary Emco and Montanwerke Brixlegg AG which has specialised in the recycling of copper and other fine metals from scrap and the residues of industrial activities.A-Tec managed fast growth by taking over struggling companies across the world. It then restored their finances, often by laying off many workers. Some of the acquired firms were then resold with a profit.A-Tec founder Mirko Kovats recently told KSV 1870 that he was ready to resign as head of the company. Insolvency proceeding officials appreciated this decision which is expected to raise the chances in their search for an investor.He reduced his share in A-Tec by 25.1 per cent to 41.5 per cent shortly after filing for bankruptcy. Many creditors have suggested Kovats should be forced to invest some of his private fortune in the ailing company, but reports have it that the businessman ensured his assets will remain untouched by stashing them all in a sophisticated network of foundations.