Economy

Corona pushes machine builder Verolme into moratorium

Administrator Marcel Windt confirms this against RTL Z. Windt emphasizes that this does not necessarily mean that Verolme is heading for bankruptcy. “This is a great company, with a great name, for which we really have to do our best.”

Deferral

The insolvency register shows that Verolme Special Equipment and three sister companies were given a postponement of payment the day before yesterday. The company, which builds heat regulators and pressure vessels, among other things, originates from Verolme IJsselmonde, once part of shipbuilder Verolme in Rotterdam.

In 2015, the South Holland equipment manufacturer was taken over by the Amsterdam investment company Bencis. It then merged it with a few peers in the industry to form Pressure Thermal Dynamics. “The other companies from that industrial conglomerate are otherwise in good health,” says Windt.

Corona crisis

Verolme, on the other hand, was not doing well at the end of 2019, according to the most recent annual report. The company made a net loss of about 800,000 euros that year, after a loss of 5.7 million in the previous year.

In the unqualified opinion accompanying those financial statements, external accountant Deloitte already warned against ‘an uncertainty about the continuity’ of the company, because the corona crisis could lead to problems with financing.

Scrubbers

According to Windt, the corona crisis did indeed play a role in the provisional moratorium. “Verolme developed a so-called ‘scrubber’, a device with which seagoing vessels can limit their CO2 emissions. But as a result of the low oil price and the corona crisis, the sale of scrubbers has come to a complete standstill.”

The administrator describes the moratorium as ‘a breather’, in which a solution can be sought together with creditors. “In addition, all options are on the table, such as a debt restructuring, but also a possible bankruptcy. We do everything we can not to just drop the case. 32 people work here, so employment is an important factor.”

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