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Germany

Germany

VETERAN FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY, Bank freezes credit

One of Germany's oldest wind firms, Südwind of Berlin, filed for bankruptcy on May 13 after its credit limit of DEM 1.2 million was frozen by Commerzbank. Company director Jochen Twele has high hopes, however, of new investors. Offers from in and around Berlin have come pouring in, "varying from individuals proposing to invest ten, twenty or thirty thousand Marks" to smaller and larger companies, he says. Südwind was founded in 1980.

Twele adds he is puzzled by the bank's move. The credit freeze fell "like a stone from a clear blue sky." he adds. "Südwind had just received a substantial payment so we had around DEM 500,000 of credit open. It looks as though the bank foreclosed on us when its risk was lowest," he says. For its part, the Commerzbank states: "Südwind filed for bankruptcy without informing us. Regrettably the company management did not seek talks with us to avoid this step."

Orders for DEM 12 million had already been signed for 1996, according to Twele. Südwind recently delivered ten, 350 kW turbines to India and its prototype 600 kW turbine is now ready for installation near Magdeburg, with firm orders for seven of the design.

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