Photon: Insolvency proceedings underway on publisher’s assets

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It has come to light that insolvency proceedings have been opened Photon Production GmbH due to the company’s illiquidity. The company is one of several related to the solar magazine Photon.

According to the spokeswoman of the District Court of Berlin, a creditor filed the insolvency petition.

“At the time of the opening of the insolvency proceedings, the business was already completely discontinued,” insolvency administrator Rüdiger Wienberg advised pv magazine in a statement. The contracts of the company’s ten employees had been transferred to another company prior to the opening of insolvency proceedings.

While the implications for the solar-industry magazine Photon are unclear, there are numerous ties between the publishing activities and insolvent company.

Anne Kreuzmann is the managing director of Photon Production GmbH and Photon International. Photon provides the editorial services to the publication. Kreuzmann is identified as such on all of Photon’s newsletters and web pages. The insolvency administrator could say nothing about whether there are open claims of Photon Production GmbH against Photon International GmbH, as the process is not public.

Further complicating the matter is that both companies were relocated from Berlin to Aachen in early April. Photon was previously headquartered in Aachen before its first insolvency in 2013/2014.

At the time of relocation, Photon Production GmbH was renamed RE Production GmbH. Both the renaming and relocation overlapped with the opening of the new insolvency proceedings.

Despite the renaming, it remains true that RE Production GmbH is also involved in the insolvency proceedings. A court spokeswoman has confirmed that a corresponding correction of the insolvency notification will be made by the District Court.

While this matter is as yet to be cleared up, the Photon Watchblog reports that no issues of the Photon magazine have been delivered since January 2018.

From 2013 to 2015, several Photon companies failed. It all started with Photon Europe GmbH, of which Kreuzmann was the managing director. Photon Europe had published magazines and newsletters and was part of Photon Holding GmbH, based in Aachen. All in all, the creditors at that time raised claims amounting to around €9 million – a considerable sum for a trade media outlet.

The Photon brand rights lay with a holding company, so that these could be handed over without prejudice to the insolvency to the 2013 newly founded Photon Publishing GmbH. However, the collapse of the Photon universe continued.

In July 2014, the holding company, also based in Aachen, was dissolved as part of the insolvency procedure. Insolvency proceedings were also opened in March 2016 for Photon Power AG, which was also a part the holding company.

Photon Power AG had collected funds from small investors for the construction of solar parks, but some of the funds had been provided as a loan to Photon Europe GmbH. The subordinate loans of small investors are generally given a lower priority than other creditors and bank.

The insolvency proceedings for the assets of Photon Laboratory GmH were opened in January 2015. The Photon test lab was also forced to close at that time.

The current insolvency is the first of the new Photon corporate network. In order to build up the new company structure, a new Photon Holding SA was founded in Luxembourg in 2015 following the insolvency of the Aachen-based holding company.