With Manroland in the throes of bankruptcy, the vultures are circling over head - all with different reasons. In Germany, thousands of jobs are at stake with 6,500 employees waiting to see if they will get their walking papers after Manroland entered bankruptcy proceedings. The date that will likely tell all is February 1st when the government stops paying the wages and the insolvency administrator takes the reigns back back, hopefully to give them to a new owner.
Breakup Likely Imminent
From a purely German perspective, the worst case scenario is the layoff of around 2,000 employees which seems inevitable. Along with this is the likely breakup of each of the Manroland's facilities. The insolvency administrator has confirmed that there are several interested parties. However there is no indication of a single buyer to resurrect the bankrupt press maker.
Goss vs Manroland
Shanghai Electric has been very interested in the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings. As a fierce competitor, the owner of Goss International would love to see it's main competitor eliminated, perhaps even taking over it's spare parts division to make inroads to the European market. Manroland is reportedly offering their presses for 30% below what they were offering last year, trying to persuade buyers to overlook their shaky future. Goss has reportedly been countering all prices by Manroland to dry up this narrow lifeline.
A Suitor Emerging?
One German newspaper reports that a prospective buyer is showing serious interest in the company, naming him as an "industrial investor from Germany" who is considering buying the Augsburg facility. There is no doubt in the minds of Manroland and the local unions that this would be their best option, a local buyer. It is unlikely that Shanghai Electric is interested in keeping their arch-enemy alive. KBA and perhaps other press manufacturers would love to absorb some of the coveted European market that Manroland has. There is certainly no lack of suitors. When the bidding ends and the dust settles, well just have to wait and see what Manroland will really become.
UPDATE: See Possehl To Buy Manroland Web Division