The District Court of Aachen officially opened insolvency proceedings against Photon Europe GmbH on February 1. A spokesperson for the court confirmed to pv magazine’s sister publication, photovoltaik that this was done at the request of the company, which filed an insolvency application last December. Further details of the process were not available.
The up to now preliminary liquidator Andre Seckler of the law firm Kebekus & Zimmermann will remain on in his position. Meanwhile, talks are said to be underway with interested parties regarding a transferred reorganization. They are expected to be completed shortly.
The extent to which an insolvency really meaningful is, is yet to be seen. According to a letter sent to an interested investor from Kebekus & Zimmermann (and which photovoltaik has seen) the amount for sale in terms of fixed and current assets is "only about 60,000". The rights to the "Photon" brand are held by the shareholder of Photon Europe, Photon Holding Group GmbH.
Since the middle of January, subscribers to Photon have received a newly created Photon Publishing GmbH invoice. In an accompanying note, it explains, "Future subscriptions are invoiced by Photon Publishing GmbH and no more of Photon Europe GmbH or Photon USA Corp." The invoices contain no company registration number.
CEO is Annegret Kreutzmann, who is also the CEO of the insolvent Photon Europe. Only from yesterday, February 4, can a registered company be found with the Aachen District Court. Further explanation about why subscribers should transfer their money to a new company has not been provided.
It is unclear whether subscribers may also be required to pay Photon Europe. It is also unclear why Photon Publishing can take the subscriber data over. "I cannot, as spokesperson for the liquidator of Photon Europe GmbH, comment on other companies," said Holger Voskuhl, spokesperson for the liquidator of Photon Europe. He added, "Fact: There is as of yet no signed contract for Photon Europe GmbH."
Intense negotiations with an investor are, according to him, underway and are expected to reach a conclusion soon. Time is, however, short, since before the company even filed for bankruptcy in December, salaries were not paid.
Bernd Schuessler, former spokesman of Photon Europe and now spokesman for Photon Publishing explains that a statement to the press will be released in the next few days.
According to German law, it is possible to transfer the company via a transfer of operations (§613a BGB). In this case, the working conditions and employees must be taken over. How much money is available to service the debt of Photon Europe, in this case, depends on the purchase price.
Since the trademark rights of Photon Europe do not belong to Photon Europe, the creditors of the company could go largely empty handed, although Photon Publishing is owned by the same shareholders as the insolvent company and managed by the same team.
Translated by Becky Beetz.