Banking Crisis Guts Successful Supplier
Does anybody need a reminder that the credit crisis is hurting our economies? Case in point: German car-industry supplier Schenk Plastic Solutions. Schenk is a small but basically healthy company that relies on Daimler for 60 percent of sales. They have a patented new product named SkinForm which was developed for premium car interiors. It's been reported that SkinForm is unique and has no real competition, since it offers superior quality at a super-low price. Mercedes wants Schenk to supply SkinForm for one million cars per year. In 2005, Schenk sold a majority interest to a private equity company named Argantis to finance their expansion plans. Surprise! Argantis is connected to IKB, a German bank which is basically bankrupt after investments in subprime U.S. real estate. So IKB pulls the plus on Argantis, which subsequently pulls the plug on Schenk. A great company with good products and healthy customers is forced to declare its insolvency. As these things go these days, the Indians come to the "rescue." Automobilwoche reports that the Ashok Minda Group, based in Uttar Pradesh, will be buying Schenk. Globalism wins, Daimler is happy and the West's industrial base is eroded a little bit more.
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