Because of the shutdown in Germany, the retail trade is closed – except for markets for the supply of daily needs, such as supermarkets or drug stores. The weeks of closings bring more and more bankruptcy cases to light.
The textile retailer Adler recently filed for bankruptcy due to closed shops during the corona crisis. Now the well-known confectionery stores Arko, Eilles and Hussel, which have been combined to form the Deutsche Confiserie Holding (DCH), follow. The company has applied for preliminary insolvency on its own at the Norderstedt district court in Schleswig-Holstein. The business operations of the shops specializing in confectionery, coffee and tea should be continued in full, according to the managing director of the DCH group Patrick G. Weber.
The two provisional administrators Dietmar Penzlin and Tjark Thies emphasized that wages and salaries were secured for three months through the insolvency money.
The man behind the confectionery empire
According to its own information, DCH operates 300 of its own branches across Germany with its three brands. In Austria and the Czech Republic it has additional branches and around 4,000 sales outlets in food retailers and bakeries. 1,600 employees work for DCH and the company recently made an annual turnover of 140 million euros.
The man behind the confectionery empire is Paul Morzynski. The now 70-year-old auditor from Hanover has already been active in this area in the past: at the end of the 1990s, he bought the East German traditional chocolate factory Halloren, restructured it and brought the company from Halle an der Saale to the stock exchange. In 2017 he retired from Halloren.
But he didn’t have enough of the confectionery industry: As early as 2014, Morzynski acquired the Arko brand from a foundation to which the founding family had transferred it. The reason for the deal should initially be that Morzynski is building a new sales channel for Halloren. But it didn’t stop there: Morzynski bought 35 Eilles stores from the Darboven family, followed by the takeover of the majority in Hussel in 2018.
He brought these three brands together under the DCH and had plans similar to those for Halloren: “In two to three years, like Halloren, I could imagine a small IPO,” Morzynski told Handelsblatt at the time. Now it turns out differently: Because in exactly this period there is no IPO, but bankruptcy due to Corona.
Morzynski is also the owner of the famous Grand Hotel Heiligendamm
Corona also affects Paul Morzynski on another side. He is also a hotelier – as the owner of the Ostseehotel Heiligendamm. But since tourist overnight stays are not permitted during the corona pandemic, the luxury hotel has been temporarily closed since November.
In 2013, Morzynski bought the then insolvent hotel, which is run by the actual acquiring company Grand Hotel Resort Heiligendamm GmbH & Co. KG. One of the managing directors is also there – like at DCH – Patrick G. Weber. The hotel is known, among other things, for the G8 summit that was held there in 2007.
But in Corona times, no tourist trips are allowed, which affects the Grand Hotel. In an interview with the portal “Reiseopia.de”, General Manager Thies Bruhn said in August 2020 that the closing phase in the spring of last year alone led to a drop in sales of 2.6 million euros.
The hotel has now been closed again since November and the shutdown has only been extended. It has not yet been determined when tourist travel will be allowed again. With retail and the hotel industry, Paul Monzynski is investing in two industries that are particularly suffering from the Corona measures.