Dr. Sven Tischendorf, MBA (self-administrator) and Dr. Alexander Höpfner (self-administrator) ensure the successful conclusion of the insolvency proceedings of the Salamander Klauser shoe stores via an investor solution

Dr Sven Tischendorf in the function of CRO, Dr Alexander Höpfner in the function of CIO and Dr Christian Holzmann in the function of administrator have been responsible for the self-administration of the traditional German companies Salamander Klauser since 13 December 2022.

The shoe chains Salamander and Klauser Schuhe were taken over in 2016 by the parent company Ara, which is backed by the Röseler family of entrepreneurs. Ara manufactures shoes itself and also owns other shoe brands, such as Lloyd or Lurchi.

The unfortunate combination of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turbulence triggered by the Ukraine war had put a heavy strain on Salamander’s and Klauser’s retail business.

In the past months of the self-administration proceedings, the restructuring experts Dr. Sven Tischendorf and Dr. Alexander Höpfner, each as managing director, together with the two Salamander/Klauser managing directors Jens Keller and Jens Peter Klatt, got the company back on track by immediately stabilising business operations and successfully realigning it.

In parallel to the operational tasks and the securing of stable financing, an investor process was initiated on the part of the owner and property management with the aim of acquiring new owners with a sustainable continuation strategy by autumn 2023.

Within the framework of this investor process, the Prime Footwear investor group prevailed over other renowned strategists and financial investors. Prime Footwear Investors AG is an association of experienced managerial personalities with profound knowledge of the shoe industry as well as renowned retail experts: Franz W. Wiest (transformation expert), the Brandstetter-Finger family (organisational consultant with shoe retail background) as well as Convergenta Beteiligungsgesellschaft are the new main shareholders.

In addition, the entrepreneurs Peter Prange (former owner of Salamander/Klauser), Günter Althaus (EX-CEO ANWR Group) and Lothar Schäfer (EX-CEO of Adler Modemärkte and AppelrathCüpper) are also involved.

Both the timing and the outcome of the investor process have exceeded expectations, in particular due to the currently very fragile market environment in the branch-based shoe retail sector. As a result, the majority of the approx. 1,000 jobs will be secured both in the now total of 65 branches as well as in the head office and logistics at the Wuppertal location.

The investor group has become a shareholder in Salamander and Klauser via an insolvency plan. After the creditors have approved the insolvency plans submitted to Salamander and Klauser on the occasion of discussion and voting meetings held on 15 September 2023, the Local Court of Wuppertal will terminate the insolvency proceedings in the near future.

The aim is now to achieve/ensure the operational transition until the formal termination of the proceedings. In order to ensure a smooth transition, the team around Sven Tischendorf and Alexander Höpfner will continue to be available to the new owner of Salamander and Klauser.

With a large number of market-renowned self-administration proceedings already successfully concluded in 2020-2022, act AC Tischendorf’s insolvency and restructuring practice, led by partners Dr Sven Tischendorf, MBA and Dr Alexander Höpfner, is one of the market leaders in Germany.

Salamander/Klauser self-administration: act AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte, Frankfurt – Dr Sven Tischendorf, MBA, Dr Alexander Höpfner (both restructuring managing directors); Dr Felix Melzer (insolvency law, restructuring); Dr Tara Kamiyar-Müller (real estate); Dr Fabian Laugwitz, MBA, LL.M. Eur. (Commercial); Dr. Nina Honstetter (Labour Law); Maximilian Dieler (Insolvency Law, Restructuring)