Insolvency and corporate recovery in Austria
Binder Grösswang's 'knowledgeable, pragmatic and responsive' team benefits from a close interaction with the firm's banking and finance, dispute resolution and corporate departments. The practice acts for creditors and debtors, as well as advising on large national or international restructurings where Austrian entities are involved. Recent highlights include advising the international Coordinating Committee formed by the main creditors of the Steinhoff Group on its restructuring in a cross-border matter worth €11bn. Key names to note are Gottfried Gassner, who provides 'high quality, very thought-through advice', and Emanuel Welten, who has a strong focus on banking and finance. Georg Wabl is the name to note at associate level.
‘We always receive positive feedback when recommending them to clients. Working with them is very seamless. They are knowledgeable, pragmatic and responsive.‘
‘Gottfried Gassner: high quality, very thought-through advice, very reliable. Johannes Barbist: real regulatory expert and really pleasant to work with.‘
Co-ordinating Committee in the restructuring of the Steinhoff-Group
Société Générale, Zweigniederlassung Wien
Constructora Ormachea Srl
Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel Betriebs GmbH
Ad Hoc Group of HETA Senior Creditors
Gordon Brothers (Europe)
- Advising the international coordinating committee formed by the main creditors (banks and funds) of the Steinhoff Group on its restructuring.
- Assisting members of the TUI Group and further international aircraft leasing companies with the insolvency proceedings of Air Berlin and Niki Luftfahrt.
- Acting for Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel Betriebs in bankruptcy proceedings.
Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners' 'highly experienced' team is particularly recommended for providing 'comprehensive advice and services in restructuring and workout cases'. The practice advised the Steinhoff Group on issues arising out of short- and long-term restructuring, including management changes, as well as sale processes in Austria and abroad. Joint practice heads Markus Fellner and Florian Kranebitter 'deliver great service in a timely fashion' and their 'extraordinary negotiation skills provide a valuable benefit for their clients', who include credit institutions and corporates. Attorney Stefan Sallat is another key name to note.
Markus Fellner; Florian Kranebitter
‘Highly experienced, high-quality expertise, very client-focused, hard-working, solution-oriented.‘
‘Markus Fellner and Florian Kranebitter: great knowledge of the market, provide high-quality service, very experienced , problem-solving skills, detail-oriented in their approach to legal advice, deliver great service in a timely fashion, able to work under stressful time circumstances, almost always available.‘
‘Long lasting experience, sufficient resources even for large scale transactions, high quality standards, innovative approach.‘
‘Excellent know-how and network, comprehensive advice and service in restructuring and workout cases, availability in urgent matters.‘
‘We have recently worked together with Markus Fellner and Florian Kranebitter. Their exceptional and comprehensive know-how in all legal matters for restructuring and workout as well as their extraordinary negotiation skills provide a valuable benefit for their clients.‘
‘FWP is one of the big corporate law firms in Austria known for its outstanding (international) corporate expertise.‘
‘We are currently working on several different cases with Dr. Fellner himself and we’ve known him for a long time. He is known as one of the best corporate lawyers in Austria (even his competitors say that) dominating each and every negotiation. His expertise and psychological strengths are just outstanding (as a client – you feel “safe”). I’ve recommended Dr. Fellner in the past and continue to do so!‘
‘Great experience in restructuring – combination of legal framework and economic background allows them to provide solutions.‘
‘Strong negotiation power, robust network in the industry and development of strategic initiatives.‘
UniCredit Bank Austria AG
Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich Aktiengesellschaft
Raiffeisen Landesbank NÖ-Wien AG
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG
BAWAG P.S.K. Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische Postsparkasse AG
HYPO NOE Landesbank für Niederösterreich und Wien AG
The Steinhoff Group
Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Österreich) AG (former “Semper Constantia Privatbank Aktiengesellschaft”)
- Assisting the banks of the Waagner-Biro group with a restructuring and reorganisation.
- Representing UniCredit Bank Austria in the insolvency proceedings of a.zoppoth haustechnik, a large building services company in Carinthia.
- Advising the Steinhoff Group on issues arising out of short- and long-term restructuring (including management changes) as well as sale processes in Austria and abroad.
The team at Graf & Pitkowitz handles the full range of matters surrounding insolvency, restructuring and reorganisation, providing advice in and out of court to a range of clients, including debtors, creditors and investors. The team is representing Charles Vögele in cross-border insolvency proceedings, which concerns insolvency liabilities worth €30m. Joint practice heads Alexander Isola and Stefan Weileder also frequently act as court-appointed insolvency administrators for clients including Borckenstein, G. Völkl, Vogel & Noot, SA Analyse und Handels, Microinnova Engineering, and MC Kunststofftechnik.
Alexander Isola; Stefan Weileder
NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH
CTP Chemisch Thermische Prozesstechnik GmbH
Charles Vögele (Austria GmbH)
Vogel & Noot
SA Analyse und Handels GmbH
Alpine Bau GmbH
Gibson Innovations Austria GmbH
G. Völkl GmbH
MC Kunststofftechnik GmbH
Microinnova Engineering GmbH
- Represented Niki Luftfahrt in its Austrian insolvency proceedings.
- Acting as court-appointed trustee for Vogel & Noot Landmaschinen in its insolvency proceedings.
- Acting as court-appointed insolvency administrator for G. Völkl.
The 'high quality' team at Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) has considerable expertise in restructuring. In recent work, it advised both the management of Heta Asset Resolution and the Republic of Austria on the structural and strategic legal questions concerning the company's wind-down. Other clients include major Austrian and international banks, including Austrian Anadi Bank, Sberbank of Russia and Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich. In other highlights, Wolfgang Höller and Miriam Simsa facilitated the successful sale of the long-established Kika/Leiner Group to the Signa Group in order to stave off looming insolvency proceedings. Martin Ebner is also recommended.
Wolfgang Höller; Martin Ebner
‘The two main partners, Miriam Simsa and Wolfgang Höller, were competent and available to align to our needs as a client. Also the rest of the team was high quality.‘
HETA Asset Resolution AG
Sberbank of Russia
Austrian Anadi Bank AG
Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich AG
- Facilitated the successful sale of the long-established Kika/Leiner Group from the Steinhoff Group to the Signa Group in order to stave off looming insolvency proceedings.
- Representing Heta Asset Resolution before the Austrian Financial Market Authority and advising the client on the actual liquidation of the Heta entity.
- Advised OVS, an indirect shareholder of Charles Vögele (CVA), on various aspects regarding the insolvency proceedings of CVA.
Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG has 'an excellent international practice which is very helpful in cross-border insolvencies'. The practice has a particular focus on multi-jurisdictional restructurings in the banking and finance sector. Eva Spiegel is the key name to note for insolvency proceedings, and is part of a team advising the Steinhoff Group on its restructuring, including assisting with financing issues, insolvency law-related matters, and corporate and tax law issues. Also recommended are Nikolaus Paul, Andrea Gritsch, Claus Schneider and Andreas Schmid, who frequently acts for clients including Austrian banks and international acquirers of non-performing loans and the respective portfolios.
‘WT were always extremely responsive to requests on what was a very complex and challenging transaction. They were able to progress negotiations by discussions directly with their counterparts in Austria, and sought commercial solutions.‘
‘Very good cross-border team approach for Austrian/Southeast-European insolvency matters. Single point of entry for various jurisdictions with one responsible lead partner.‘
‘Eva Spiegel is an excellent team leader and provides good value for money.‘
‘They are the most skilled firm in this domain in Austria, and have a team with an excellent international practice which is very helpful in cross-border insolvencies.‘
‘In my view what makes them different is their proactivity and strategic approach.‘
Revetas Capital Fund
DDM Group AG and B2 Holding
Sempione Fashion AG
Bain Capital Credit (European Advisors), Ltd.
Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG
Erste Group Bank AG
Erste Group Immorent International Holding GmbH
- Assisting LCH with assessing the consequences of a potential unregulated EU withdrawal of Britain on the client’s central counterparty business model.
- Advised DDM Group and its consortium partner B2Holding on the purchase of a portfolio of distressed assets in Croatia from Heta Asset Resolution and its Croatian affiliates.
- Advising the Steinhoff Group on its restructuring, including assisting with financing issues, insolvency law-related matters, and corporate and tax law issues.
The team at Cerha Hempel has strength in assisting national and international clients with pre-insolvency debt collection and acts for clients including Johnson Controls, BDO Group and Whirlpool Corporation. Other work undertaken by the practice includes advising the shareholders of distressed or insolvent companies, and representing clients in insolvency proceedings. Practice head Thomas Trettnak and senior associate Christoph Reiter, who focuses on corporate and commercial distressed M&A, are recommended for 'trying to understand the holistic situation' and then 'adapt their advice to the specific situation described'. Another key name to note is Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein.
‘Practice known for creditor work and distressed M&A.‘
‘We usually interact with Christoph Reiter and Thomas Trettnak: they always have a close attention to the business environment and are very careful to adapt their advice to the specific situation described. They always breakdown the pros and cons of a decision so I always feel as though I am in a trusting relationship with both Christoph and Thomas, as they are trying to understand the holistic situation.‘
AIDA Cruises – German Branch of Costa Crociere S.p.A.
AXA Insurance Group
Agent Provocateur Limited
WHIRLPOOL Europe s.r.l. / KitchenAid S.A
BIA Separations Group
FABEX Group in FILL Metallbau
MAGNA International Group
BAM Deutschland AG
- Advising Aida Cruises on the current insolvency proceedings of Niki Luftfahrt, particularly the client’s demands and claims under Austrian law.
- Acting for BIA Separations Group, an Austrian-Slovenian biotechnology company, in its restructuring proceedings.
- Advising Johnson Controls on its out-of-court debt collection measures regarding A. Zoppoth Haustechnik.
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach's team handles a wide range of matters, including cross-border insolvency cases, distressed acquisitions and the refinancing of comprehensive projects. The 'proactive and hands-on' team is advising KBC on a restructuring relating to the insolvency of Uljanik, a Croatian shipyard, in a cross-border matter worth over €160m. The firm acts for international and domestic creditors and companies, including Raiffeisen Bank International and UniCredit Bank Austria. Oskar Winkler is the key contact.
‘Thorough knowledge of (local) appropriate insolvency law, pro-active and hands on, language capabilities.‘
Raiffeisen Bank International
6B47 Real Estate Investors AG
UniCredit Bank Austria AG
- Advising KBC on a restructuring involving a Croatian borrower in distress.
- Assisting Strabag with the refinancing of the Alto Maipo Project in Chile.
- Advising UniCredit Bank Austria on the refinancing of a portfolio of nine real estate projects belonging to Immofinanz in Hungary.
DORDA Rechtsanwaelte GmbH's insolvency and corporate recovery team assists with a full range of matters, including advising lenders and distressed borrowers on pre-insolvency reorganisation and restructuring, and representing creditors in insolvency proceedings and other related litigation. 'Hard worker' Christian Ritschka has a particular focus on distressed M&A and, jointly with Felix Hörlsberger, led a team that assisted bauMax with the restructuring of its whole group, including the European-wide sale of its stores and assets. Tibor Varga and Andreas Zahradnik are also recommended.
Felix Hörlsberger; Tibor Varga; Andreas Zahradnik
‘Christian Ritschka and Felix Hörlsberger, together with Tibor Varga, are very smart and efficient, they work very well together. They focus on finding solutions and getting the deal done.‘
‘Christian Ritschka is a hard worker and always goes the extra mile without being asked. He is always available and a stronghold in negotiations. I particularly like his strategic and pragmatic approach. For Felix Hörlsberger again I need to highlight his ability to detect even the most difficult problems and find a solution before anyone else. I worked with Tibor Varga for the first time this year and value his input a lot. He is extremely good in structuring and making sure that no important issue is left out.‘
Committee of noteholders (the “Ad Hoc committee”; primarily international hedge funds) of Steinhoff Europe AG
- Representing, as Austrian counsel, the ad hoc committee of Seag Lenders in the extrajudicial restructuring of debts of the Steinhoff group.
- Advising Attestor Capital on acquiring secured and unsecured claims against Alpine Bau, with the result that the client is now Alpine’s largest creditor.
- Assisted bauMax with the restructuring of its whole group, including the European-wide sale of its stores and assets.
Eisenberger & Herzog provides an interdisciplinary service and its 'dedicated and hardworking' practice frequently combines with the firm's corporate, M&A, capital markets, restructuring, and finance teams. The team's 'practical, solution-oriented lawyers' frequently represent creditors in Austrian insolvency proceedings. Other areas of expertise for the practice include restructuring of listed bonds and loan enforcement. The group acted for QuadraCir on the restructuring of its financial debt, the sale of its assets, and its liquidation, in a matter worth €1bn. Marcus Benes stands out for his 'great knowledge of the market' and 'exceptional service'. The other key names to note are Michael Strenitz and Peter Winkler.
Michael Strenitz; Marcus Benes
‘Very dedicated and hardworking team, highly experienced, high-quality expertise. Very client-focused, high commitment to client service. Practical, solution-oriented lawyers.‘
‘Marcus Benes and Laurenz Liedermann: great knowledge of the market, provide exceptional service, good grasp of where the market is, very experienced, problem-solving skills, detail-oriented in their approach to legal advice, deliver great service in a timely fashion, able to work under stressful time circumstances.‘
Asamer Holding (renamed QuadraCir)
Scholz Holding GmbH
Megatech Industries AG
BAWAG P.S.K. Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft
- Advising QuadraCir on the restructuring of its financial debt, the sale of its assets, and its liquidation.
- Advising Lufthansa on the failed acquisition of the Lauda Air assets in the insolvency of Air Berlin.
- Assisting the owners of convertible bonds with refinancing through a newly secured loan agreement to a freshly established subsidiary of Steinhoff Finance Holding.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm)
Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm) has a widespread presence across Austria, operating from offices in Wels, Vienna and Graz. The three-partner team assists creditors and debtors with work including restructuring, distressed M&A, and insolvency proceedings. The practice is representing Elin, a former arm of Siemens, in insolvency proceedings against SFL Technologies, in a matter worth over €100m. Experienced insolvency administrator Alexander Anderle was appointed as the liquidator in the €43m insolvency of Doubrava Gesellschaft. Other key names include practice head Ernst Chalupsky, Gerald Schmidsberger, Christian Pindeus and Fritz Ecker.
Doubrava Gesellschaft m.b.H. & Co KG
ELIN GmbH & Co KG
- Representing Elin, a former arm of Siemens, in insolvency proceedings against SFL Technologies.
- Acting as a liquidator in the insolvency of Doubrava Gesellschaft.
Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte fields 'a talented, driven and proactive' team, which is 'brilliant in preventing and managing high-value, complex disputes' and has 'a high level of legal competence and professionalism'. Particular areas of strength for the practice include insolvency administration and restructuring work. 'Very experienced, thoughtful and good-quality adviser' Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky is acting as an insolvency administrator for multiple clients in high-value matters, among them the Austrian subsidiaries of Swiss-based international investment company GOLDprofessionell, German business consultant Schirm & Collegen and Hungarian company Martin-Meat. Also recommended are 'gifted strategic thinker' Dieter Heine and Nikolaus Vavrovsky, who 'has the talent to solve complex issues with absolute calm and professionalism'.
Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky
‘Vavrovsky Heine Marth shows a remarkably high level of service and is leading in expertise orientation. They work extremely diligently and provide thorough and reliable advice. The team is talented, driven and proactive, their business acumen is remarkable.‘
‘I highly value Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky who is an authority in insolvency and restructuring in Austria. He is a very experienced, thoughtful and good-quality adviser. He works analytically and systematically and his advice is highly detail-oriented. I am always appreciative of his foresight, and his negotiation and communication skills. Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky always keeps his calm even in heated situations. He listens to his clients and is highly committed to their needs and goals.‘
‘In insolvency and restructuring matters, Vavrovsky Heine Marth has proven to be a reliable counsel in various matters. Among their strengths are their high level of legal competence and professionalism, their clear commitment to their client, and their unwavering focus. They possess pronounced entrepreneurial thinking.‘
‘Nikolaus Vavrovsky has the talent to solve complex issues with absolute calm and professionalism. He approaches matters with the utmost efficiency and is solution-oriented, has impeccable legal know-how and great communication skills. Dieter Heine is a gifted strategic thinker, assertive and convincing in and out of court with long-standing experience. What I value most is that he keeps his eyes on his client’s goals and finds ways to protect their interests in any given setting. Both are absolutely dedicated to their clients.‘
‘Vavrovsky Heine Marth is simply the best choice in dispute resolution, brilliant in preventing and managing high-value, complex disputes. Dieter Heine leads a team of sharp-minded experts who think commercially and approach matters unconventionally with utmost finesse and detail orientation. They are very resourceful and thorough as well as extremely service-oriented. Their clients come first and the team gives everything for them. I especially value the personal partner attention. Also, Vavrovsky Heine Marth is one of the only firms that has implemented the change in market demand and, thus, follows a multi-dimensional approach in dispute resolution, connecting all available processes and methods. They understand that clients need individual solutions instead of off-the-shelf services. Strong emphasis lies on dispute prevention and consensual dispute resolution, where Vavrovsky Heine Marth has been an invaluable advisor and counsel to us.‘
‘Dieter Heine is an astute, commercial and clever professional, mastering the trickiest issues. He has impressive legal knowledge and keeps his eye on his client’s goals, working meticulously to achieve the best results. Dieter is also a tremendously fast thinker, able to adapt to new situations and challenges. He holds the reins firmly at all times and has extraordinary strategic capabilities. He is a determined counsel, proactive advisor and completely devoted to his clients.‘
adeo Alpin Holding GmbH
Administration of Vollererhof Hotel GmbH
Administration of GOLDprofessional Austria GmbH
Administration of Hans-Jörg Reinhart Privatstiftung
Administration of IPM Concept GmbH, PWB Schallmoos 65 GmbH
Administration of Martin-Meat KFT, Niederlassung Österreich (Austrian branch)
Administration of Scharler Baugesellschaft GmbH
Administration of Schirm & Collegen Deutsches Marketing – Contor GmbH
Administration of SVZ Salzburger Volkszeitung GmbH & Co KG
HBI-Bundesholding AG (HBI-BH) and Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank S.p.A
immigon portfolioabbau ag
- Acting for adeo Alpin, operator of Cooee Alpin Hotels, through its corporate restructuring.
- Acting as an administrator in the €60-70m bankruptcy of the Austrian subsidiary of Swiss-based international investment company Goldprofessionell.
- Advising HBI-Bundesholding and Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank on a the winding-down process.
ABEL Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG
CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH's team acts for clients including European financial institutions and international companies. Practice head Günther Hanslik specialises in financial transactions, restructurings and corporate transactions. Another key name to note is Alexander Rakosi, whose strength lies in distressed M&A.
Engelhart & Partner Rechtsanwälte OEG
FREIMÜLLER/OBEREDER/PILZ Rechtsanwält_innen GmbH
Preslmayr Attorneys at Law
Riel & Partner Rechtsanwaltskanzlei
Taylor Wessing enwc Rechtsanwälte GmbH stands out for its 'excellent network of relationships' and 'the highest integrity and quality of work'. It acts for debtors, shareholders and directors. Areas of expertise include corporate financial restructuring, insolvency litigation, international restructuring and distressed M&A. 'Experienced insolvency expert' Susanne Fruhstorfer also acts as an insolvency administrator for a range of clients, among them manufacturing company Metallwerkstätte Walter Schulz and real estate group Wienwert Getreidemarkt 10 Immobilienbesitz. In other recent work, the practice is acting for Mariborska livarna Maribor in negotiating with the insolvency practitioner of a major customer.
‘The team is highly influenced by its leaders’ remarkably hands-on approach.‘
‘Dr. Susanne Fruhstorfer is a very experienced insolvency expert. Her work is solution-orientated and focused. She is straightforward and easy to communicate with. Her flexibility is of great help in difficult multi-party cases.‘
‘Well-connected within the industry. Entrepreneurially driven. Client-centric.‘
‘It is a traditional, well-established and recognised law firm with an excellent network of relationships. You can expect the highest integrity and quality of work. Their practice is especially well known in the areas of bankruptcy law, corporate financial restructuring, corporate insolvency, international restructuring and corporate M&A.‘
‘I am especially delighted to work together with Susanne Fruhstorfer (Partner) and Andreas Howadt (associate). I appreciate their absolute high professional competence in their legal fields (bankruptcy law, corporate financial restructuring, corporate insolvency, insolvency litigation, international restructuring and corporate M&A). Further, both work with highest integrity and reliability. Susanne Fruhstorfer’s professional publications in the area of corporate insolvency are outstanding, showing her extraordinary competence and long-term experience.‘
WienWert Getreidemarkt 10 Immobilienbesitz GmbH
KGAL Asset Management Österreich GmbH
Waldviertler Sparkasse Bank AG / Československá obchodná banka, a.s.
Metallwerkstätte Walter Schulz GmbH
BRIDGE REAL ESTATE GMBH
ALB Anlagen- und Leitungsbau GmbH
Drytec consulting & engineering GmbH
Gri Handels GmbH
NYC Fashion GmbH
GARBE Industrial Real Estate GmbH
Mariborska livarna Maribor d.d.
Metallwerkstätte Walter Schulz Gesellschaft m.b.H
- Acting as insolvency administrator during SZA’s insolvency proceedings.
- Acting as insolvency administrator in Metallwerkstätte Walter Schulz’s insolvency proceedings.
- Acting for Mariborska livarna Maribor in negotiations with the insolvency practitioner of a major customer.