– Logistics service provider Zeitfracht takes over entire KNV Group on 1 August 2019
– German Federal Cartel Office and banks approve takeover
– With closing, security and calm now prevails in the book market
– Property in Erfurt sold to Thelen Group
– Long-term lease agreement with Zeitfracht –
Stuttgart/Berlin, 25 July 2019. About four weeks after signing the purchase agreement for the takeover of the book logistics company Koch, Neff und Volckmar (KNV) by the Zeitfracht Group, the takeover can now be completed. The two conditions for the effectiveness of the contract, which were still outstanding, have now been fulfilled. With the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office and the final approval of the banking committees, the Zeitfracht Group will take over the KNV Group on 1 August 2019. “Our insolvency team, the management and I are delighted that the KNV Group can continue a new chapter in its long history with Zeitfracht, the perfect purchaser for the company. Our goal has been achieved because we have been able to retain all jobs, all locations and have found an ideal investor”, says insolvency administrator Tobias Wahl.
Book cycle secured
The closing of the purchase agreement clears the way for the restart of KNV, Germany’s largest book logistics company. With Zeitfracht, a Berlin-based family-owned company that is now in its third generation providing services in the fields of national and international logistics, special shipping as well as freight and passenger air transport, a powerful strategic investor is taking over the entire KNV Group. The preservation and continuation of the company has now restored security and calm to the book market. The KNV Group is regarded as an indispensable link between hundreds of publishers and the entire book retailing. With its sophisticated logistics and transport management, KNV ensures that books circulate in the book market and are delivered to bookstores overnight. A collapse of this cycle would have had unforeseeable consequences for the entire book market.
Expansion and further development of the KNV Group
“We are pleased that the German Federal Cartel Office and the banks have approved the takeover without restrictions. We will now work hard to implement our plans for the KNV Group. Zeitfracht not only offers a new home to the approximately 1600 employees of the traditional company, but also wants to develop and expand the business sustainably. We are fully committed to the cultural heritage of books. Despite all the prophecies of doom, the book will still shape many generations to come”, says Frank Schulze, CFO of the Zeitfracht Group.
The first creditors’ meetings of the respective KNV companies took place on 25 July 19. Insolvency administrator Wahl informed the creditors about the insolvency proceedings, the measures implemented and in particular about the sale during the appointment scheduled by the Stuttgart Local Court.
Logistics centre changes owner
In the meantime, a buyer for the KNV Group’s property in Erfurt has also been found in the course of a bidding process. In agreement with the creditors’ committee, Thelen Group from Essen acquires the property in Thuringia, where the KNV Group’s logistics centre is located. The insolvency administrator had already previously agreed with Zeitfracht on a long-term rental agreement for 15 years with an extension option, which will be taken over by Thelen Group.
Solidarity among employees, publishers and booksellers
“I would like to thank all those involved, the employees and the management, who always believed with confidence and high commitment in a solution for the future and did a great job in a difficult time. Above all, I would also like to thank the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and the many large and small publishing houses as well as the numerous booksellers who have supported us with great impressive solidarity and have always encouraged us”, says Wahl. The entry of Zeitfracht and the matching service portfolios of KNV and Zeitfracht offer considerable synergies, resulting in interesting perspectives in a competitive 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 3,000 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 Thelen Group
Founded in 1988, the Essen-based group of companies is a project developer and portfolio manager active in the fields of real estate management and planning management. The group owns 14.5 million m² of land and 2.5 million m² of buildings. The Thelen Group also covers the following business segments: energy management, construction companies, digital infrastructure, service companies and training companies. The group has more than 600 employees at 6 locations.
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 the Media
For Insolvency Administrator
Pietro Nuvoloni | Elke Schmitz
dictum media gmbh
Zollstockgürtel 63 | 50969 Köln
Telefon: +49 – 221 – 39 760 670
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For KNV Group
Leitung Kommunikation u. Marketing
Industriestraße 23 | 70565 Stuttgart
Telefon: +49 – 711 – 7860-8126
For Zeitfracht Group
Brunswick Group GmbH
Taubenstraße 20-22 | 10117 Berlin
Telefon: +49 – 30 – 20673360
For Thelen Group
Telefon: +49 – 201 – 507 90 – 0