It all happened very quickly last week. Reflecting the international financial crisis, Intermedium went into insolvency in the Netherlands on Wednesday last week, as its bankers refused to provide this large international trading company with the usual mezzanine loans needed to finance its production.
Then on Friday, a Dutch investment group, Standard Investment, agreed to supply new equity, becoming the majority shareholder in a new company, called Intermedium Shoes, that will acquire all the assets of the previous one, and negotiate a settlement with the creditors. At least for the time being, Intermedium’s operations in Germany and China are not affected by the insolvency proceedings.
Apparently, Standard Investment was convinced of the good aspects of the business plan presented by Intermedium’s management, which calls among other things for growth in turnover and further investments in the Far East to increase production and sales in the area, coordinated by the company’s Chinese head office in Dongguan. About 70 percent of its activities are in that part of the world. As reported last year, Intermedium started up a new production facility in Whenzou.
Intermedium will keep the existing portfolio of brands and licenses, which includes Tom Tailor, Taxi and Smileys, and its vast private label business. On the other hand, about 10 of the 50-odd employees at its Dutch head office will be laid off.
Standard Investment is expected to appoint new management at the head of Intermedium Shoes. This is the first action in the shoe business for the investment group, which is described as a strategic partner that takes an active role in sound companies for the long term.
Contrary to previous projections, Intermedium reached sales of less than €60 million last year, according company officials.