The turnaround in interest rates leads to the construction crisis: More and more construction companies are suffering from canceled orders. The tile manufacturer Steuler therefore slides into insolvency.

The tile manufacturer Steuler is bankrupt. The company from Bremen has filed for bankruptcy on its own, the Steuler tile group and the consulting firm Ebner Stolz recently announced.

The background to the bankruptcy is the sharp decline in orders for construction. This has also led to a large drop in sales at Steuler in recent months.

As the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reports, Ebner Stolz and Steuler are working on a plan to put the restructuring phase behind them as quickly as possible. Around 650 employees in Bremen, Bremerhaven, Leisnig (Saxony) and Mühlacker (Baden-Württemberg) are affected by the insolvency. Steuler wants to secure the jobs through the self-directed insolvency, business operations will initially continue as normal.

The number of bankruptcies is higher than it has been since 2016

Steuler is not the only company that has slipped into insolvency. Just a few days ago, the economic research institute IWH from Halle reported that the number of insolvencies in June had risen to the highest level since 2016. Compared to the same month last year, the number increased by 48 percent to 1,050.

The situation in construction is particularly dramatic. The main reason for this is the recent sharp rise in interest rates. With these, the European Central Bank (ECB) braces itself against the high inflation in the euro zone. The result: failed financing of real estate projects, which became too expensive for the client.

Rescue still possible

The Munich Ifo Institute has also observed a sharp increase in canceled housing construction orders since the beginning of the year. In April, economic researchers reported that 25.5 percent of companies in the sector were suffering from a lack of orders. For comparison: in spring 2022 it was only 8.6 percent.

According to its own statements, the Steuler tile group produces 13 million square meters of tiles per year. The company belongs to the Steuler Group based in Höhr-Grenzhausen in the Westerwald.

The self-directed insolvency that is now being initiated does not necessarily have to lead to the end of the company, on the contrary: many companies actually use such a process to sort their business and position themselves in such a way that it can continue to exist.


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