The Dutch Van Der Putten Group has placed five out of its ten subsidiaries in Chapter 11 proceedings after facing a cash squeeze of €700,000, caused by the inability of the bankrupt Garant Schuh + Mode to pay its bills at the end of 2004 and by the banks’ unwillingness to extend its own credit line.

The five insolvent companies are Durabel BV and Spiess BV, plus a holding company, Smits BV, and a shell company. They handle sales of shoes under the Durabel, Spiess, JJ and Picardi brand names. They have combined liabilities of €800,000. Some 33 jobs are being eliminated.

Carl Van Der Putten says orders are extremely good for the next Fall/Winter season and everything will go ahead as planned. The only difference that customers will notice is that company names will have changed on the invoices. Five other subsidiaries are excluded from the proceedings and continue to operate. They now own the brands, the production facilities, other real estate and the equipment.

In an attempt to buy time, Van Der Putten, on advice from its bankers, had tried to apply for tax and social security relief to avoid liquidation, but it was too late. A change in the Dutch tax law in January 2005 forced it and other Dutch companies to guarantee any debt with its securities to make it eligible for tax relief. A court-appointed receiver, Lorette Pawlikowski, is handling the insolvency proceedings.