GREFRATH, Germany (Dec. 9, 2008)-Henniges Automotive Grefrath, its associated technical center and two Czech subsidiaries have fallen into receivership.
Henniges makes automotive profiles from EPDM, thermoplastic elastomers and polyvinyl chloride.
The units affected are in Grefrath, along with Pribor and Ostrava in the Czech Republic. It is not clear whether the Henniges unit in Rehburg, Germany, is affected.
The units are owned by Chicago-based private equity fund Wynnchurch Capital, which bought the former GDX Automotive in September 2007. The Henniges name is derived from GDX Automotive's most recognized brand founded in Germany by Ernst Henniges in 1951. Prior to that, the Grefrath unit was one of the flagship plants of United Kingdom-based companies Laird and then Draftex.
Altogether, about 2,000 employees are affected, of which about 800 are in Grefrath. Local press reports say production is continuing and order books are healthy, but still some jobs are expected to be lost.
The announcement was made with little or no warning to employees, who thought they had a deal, which runs until 2010.
The administrator, Wolf-Rudiger von der Fecht of Dusseldorf firm Metzeler-Von der Fecht, was not available for comment. Likewise, no one from either Wynnchurch or Henniges could be reached for comment.