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The wave of insolvency is flowing  Wednesday |  29 05 2024 |  1:00 pm

The wave of insolvency is flowing Wednesday | 29 05 2024 | 1:00 pm

Currently, not a week goes by without reports of new bankruptcies. The bankruptcy of the manufacturer of Vorarlberg engine components recently became known – liabilities amount to more than 21 million euros, and 70 employees are registered with AMS. The bankruptcy of the Austrian subsidiary of the American electric car maker Fisker Automotive, headquartered in Styria, has a much larger dimension. Liabilities in the Regional Court were set at more than 1.3 billion euros. These are the largest insolvency proceedings in Styria to date.

These are just two of many companies in Austria that have faced significant economic difficulties in the past year. In 2023, the number of company bankruptcies rose to the highest level since 2014. The situation is unlikely to improve this year, in fact, there are fears that the number of bankruptcies will exceed 5,400 companies. Most bankruptcies occurred in the construction, retail, and restaurant sectors. There are also more and more voluntary closures of businesses in Austria: last year there were almost 60 thousand.

Since Cigna's bankruptcy, insolvency law reforms have been discussed in Austria, such as the need for a collective insolvency law. Communications within the Signa Group have demonstrated the need for this. In this regard, there is currently a debate about transparency gaps in corporate and corporate law. Thanks to a lot of effort, Signa managed to remain a group of companies and not become a corporation – hence it was necessary to present a unified balance sheet for all companies. Those who suffer from this bankruptcy are not only investors, but also many small business owners and individuals as well as taxpayers.

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Why is the situation currently so difficult for companies in the construction, retail and restaurant industries? What role does Cigna's bankruptcy, the largest in the history of the Austrian economy, play for Austria as a business location? What rights do employees have if their company goes bankrupt?

Marilyn Novotny talks about these questions with insolvency expert Cornelia Wiesenauer from the Alpine Creditors' Association. And with you: Call and chat for free from all over Austria on 0800 22 69 79 or email us at punkteins(at)orf.at

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