Zeitfracht takes over KNV Group
26 Jun

Zeitfracht takes over KNV Group

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Stuttgart, 26 June 2019

Joint press release:

Book logistician Koch, Neff and Volckmar rescued

– Logistics service provider Zeitfracht takes over entire KNV Group
– All locations and all jobs will be retained
– Zeitfracht focuses on long-term and sustainable business development
– Acquisition subject to approval by banks and antitrust authorities

Stuttgart, 26 June 2019 – Germany’s largest book logistician and book wholesaler Koch, Neff and Volckmar (KNV) has been rescued less than five months after filing for insolvency. With the Berlin family business Zeitfracht, insolvency administrator Tobias Wahl was able to find a powerful buyer for the entire KNV Group. The owner-managed company of Zeitfracht provides services in the fields of national and international logistics, special shipping and freight and passenger air transport.

Ideal buyer with synergy potential

“My team and I are very pleased that Zeitfracht as an investor has succeeded in setting the course for a promising future of the KNV Group. Zeitfracht is an ideal buyer, as the owner-managed family business with its service portfolio is a perfect match for KNV. The bundling of know-how and the use of the respective strengths of both sides results in considerable synergies”, says insolvency administrator Tobias Wahl of anchor Rechtsanwälte. In a bidding process that lasted several weeks under the direction of M&A consultant Dr. Adam Bolek and advice from the law firm Gleiss Lutz, Zeitfracht prevailed over other bidders with an offer that provides most value to both the creditors’ committees and the employees of KNV. The creditors’ committees of the insolvent KNV companies have already approved the purchase agreement with the strategic investor.

Dynamic and sustainable growth

In the course of a restructuring, Zeitfracht takes over all assets of the KNV Group necessary for operations and thus becomes the future sole shareholder. The sale to Zeitfracht covers all areas of the KNV Group with all locations in Stuttgart, Erfurt and Leipzig. This includes the business areas of book wholesaling (bar assortment), publishing delivery and logistics. In addition, Zeitfracht takes over all shares in Leipziger Kommissions- und Großbuchhandelsgesellschaft mbH (LKG), which is not affected by the insolvency. Thanks to the perfectly matching service portfolios, KNV and Zeitfracht can grow dynamically and sustainably in line with their strategic priorities and in the respective relevant markets.

Frank Schulze, CFO of Zeitfracht Group, welcomes the decision of the creditors’ committees: “We are pleased that we have been awarded the contract for the traditional company KNV. This will enable us to offer the approximately 1,600 employees of the KNV Group a new home. As an owner-managed family business, we are fully committed to the cultural asset of books. Long-term, sustainable business development also has the highest priority for us. We therefore aim to further develop the entire KNV business. In addition, the acquisition of the KNV Group significantly strengthens the logistics division of Zeitfracht Group and underpins our leading position in the logistics sector – for example, Zeitfracht Group will increase utilization of KNV’s Erfurt logistics centre, one of the largest, state of the art logistics centre in Europe.” The KNV Group is also excellently positioned in the IT area and offers interesting opportunities for joint development in the future.

No personnel measures

Zeitfracht takes over all employees at all three locations. This will save around 1,600 jobs. The employment contracts of the employees and their remuneration remain unchanged. The managing directors Thomas Raff and Jens Neuner remain in their roles. The managing partner Oliver Voerster and Dr. Bertram Feuerbacher resign from the management board.

As the largest German book logistics company and book wholesaler, the KNV Group acts as an important interface between publishers and book retailers. Industry experts consider the KNV Group as systemically relevant in the book market. Zeitfracht’s entry into the book market marks a turnaround for the sector and stabilizes the entire book market. The sale still requires the approval of the banks involved and the antitrust authorities. With the sale, the entire KNV Group has been saved and is solidly and competitively positioned in the market.

About Koch, Neff & Volckmar GmbH (‚KNV‘)

Koch, Neff & Volckmar GmbH (‘KNV’) is a book wholesaler and provides comprehensive logistics services for retailers in German-speaking countries. The company has been operating media logistics for over 185 years. Its core competence lies in the distribution of books, e-books, games, DVDs, music CDs, calendars and many other book trade articles. KNV acts as a link between publishers and bookstores and supplies its customers overnight with around 590,000 articles from over 5,000 suppliers from its wholesale warehouse in Erfurt. The KNV transport management ensures bundled delivery of goods from KNV book wholesalers overnight and of publishing goods from publishing deliveries to the trade. In addition, KNV offers the book trade further services such as special software, marketing support and logistics services. KNV supplies retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as 70 other countries worldwide. For over 300 publishers, its sister company KNO Verlagsauslieferung acts as a full-service provider for warehousing, distribution and other services such as order processing, invoicing, accounting, IT development, statistics and evaluations. In addition to the headquarters in Stuttgart and the distribution warehouse in Erfurt, the KNV Group also includes another publishing house distribution company, LKG Leipziger Kommissions- und Großbuchhandelsgesellschaft mbH in Rötha near Leipzig. More information can be found at: www.knv.de

About Zeitfracht Group

Zeitfracht group is a medium-sized and owner-managed family business with more than 1,800 employees. The company’s headquarter is located in Berlin. As a logistics service provider, Zeitfracht has been firmly established in the national and international logistics industry for over 90 years and is one of the leading providers of system traffic in Germany and Europe. In recent years, Zeitfracht has developed into a group of companies with three pillars: logistics, aviation and real estate. Last spring, Zeitfracht took over the LGW from Deutsche Lufthansa and since then has carried out the regional services of Eurowings.

About Tobias Wahl | anchor Rechtsanwälte

Attorney Tobias Wahl is a partner in the law firm anchor Rechtsanwälte, which specializes in insolvency administration and insolvency law advice. The nationwide law firm anchor Rechtsanwälte and the management consultancy anchor Management are represented by a total of 15 partners and 120
employees at 11 locations in Augsburg, Braunschweig, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Hildesheim, Cologne, Mannheim, Munich, Weilheim, Stuttgart and Ulm. Due to their outstanding expertise, anchor’s lawyers regularly become insolvency administrators throughout Germany, administrator or restructuring manager in insolvency, self-administration and protective shield proceedings. In the past, the firm has assisted and restructured numerous larger companies in insolvency. In addition to its entire experience and competence in insolvency law, anchor also brings business management know-how to consulting mandates. At anchor, team spirit is always in the foreground. More information can be found at: www.anchor.eu

Contact for Insolvency Administrator
Pietro Nuvoloni | Elke Schmitz
dictum media gmbh
Zollstockgürtel 63 | 50969 Köln
Phone: +49 – 221 – 39 760 670
nuvoloni@dictum-media.de | schmitz@dictum-media.de

Contact for KNV Group
Ulrike Alberts
Head of Communication and Marketing
Industriestraße 23 | 70565 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 – 711 – 7860-8126

Contact for Zeitfracht Group
Heinz-Joachim Schöttes
Brunswick Group GmbH
Taubenstraße 20-22, 10117 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (0)30 20673360

© 2019 Zeitfracht | www.zeitfracht.de