By Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Dutch engineering services company Royal Imtech has been declared bankrupt and its Marine and Nordic divisions are being sold to private investors, the company and its administrators said on Thursday.
Imtech, which employs 22,000 people in 35 countries and has annual sales of roughly 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion), filed for protection from creditors on Tuesday after its German unit filed for insolvency.The break-up of Imtech, once a darling of the Amsterdam stock exchange, capped more than two years of financial turmoil triggered by accounting fraud at its Polish and German units.
Imtech said in a statement its Marine business would be sold to Pon Holdings and Parcom Capital and that “a sales process for the Nordic division is ongoing and expected to be concluded in the short term.”
No figures were given, but Imtech said the sale of the two units would secure 7,300 jobs.
“Royal Imtech has been assured by the trustees in bankruptcy that they are geared to preserve as many Imtech group companies as possible in the interests of all creditors, employees and other stakeholders,” it said.
Proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off debt and “it is not envisaged that Royal Imtech and its shareholders will enjoy financial benefit from any such current or future transactions,” Imtech said.
A number of parties had also expressed “a genuine interest” to take over other viable parts of the business, it added.
The administrators said in a statement they had reached “unconditional agreement” with bankers over the sale of the Marine and Nordic divisions.
In addition to the two divisions, the administrators said they were in talks with dozens of potential buyers for Imtech’s operations in Spain, Belgium, Britain and for its Traffic and Infrastructure division.
“There has been a lot of interest in the Dutch businesses of Imtech as well,” their statement said.
Dutch financial markets regulator AFM halted trading in Imtech shares Thursday morning in anticipation of a major announcement.
The company’s stock had collapsed from over 200 euros per share since a major accounting scandal hit its German and Polish operations in 2013.
($1 = 0.8979 euros) (Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter)
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