Oswal Group buys out Austrian joint venture partner

August 28th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Indian yarn maker Oswal Group has taken over its Austrian joint venture partner, the now bankrupt textile firm FM Hammerle, Austrian media reports said. The Group’s Rs.3.7-billion flagship, Vardhman Polytex, had announced a joint venture with the Dornbirn-based Hammerle in 2005 for setting up a Rs.2-billion greenfield yarn-dyed shirting fabric facility.

The existing joint venture tilted the sale in favour of the Indian company.

“Oswal was, therefore, preferred as also because they are going to retain 100 to 120 more employees than the other interested parties,” Hammerle’s operating trustee William Klagian told the ailing company’s employees Wednesday, media reports said.

He made the announcement during a lunch meeting with the company’s employees regarding the company’s future, the reports said.

Klagian also said the creditors’ committee and the bankruptcy court have approved the sale.

Financial details of the sale are not available.

When contacted, Oswal Group company secretary Tarun Jindal confirmed that the group’s chairman Ashok Oswal was now in Austria.

He, however, refused to deny or confirm the takeover of the Austrian company, adding: “Please wait for two or three days for the chairman to come back and make an announcement.”

Hammerle was once Austria’s largest textile company with a staff strength of 2,200. After a dramatic turn of fortune, the company filed for bankruptcy in July.

The company currently has 312 employees on its rolls. It was previously reported that the company had debts of six million euros.

Klagian, however, is reported to have said that inclusive of staff dues, debts are 12 million euros. In fact, the employees are by far the largest creditors, the media reports said.

The new owners told reporters that all divisions and about 150 employees of the Austrian company would be retained.

The plan is to resume operations from Sep 1.

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