Compleo Charging Solutions files for insolvency
The German charging infrastructure manufacturer Compleo Charging Solutions will file for insolvency proceedings in self-administration at short notice due to impending insolvency. The board of directors no longer considers “the positive continuation of the company as a going concern to be predominantly probable”.
Compleo has revealed in an ad hoc release that the board of directors “the Executive Board of Compleo Charging Solutions has come to the conclusion that, in the view of the Executive Board, the talks held in recent weeks regarding the short-term provision of additional financing will no longer lead to a successful conclusion with the required probability”. The board says it is likely that business operations can no longer continue as usual.
The insolvency applications are for Compleo Charging Solutions AG and Compleo Charging Technologies GmbH. The other subsidiaries are currently not affected by the application. The company is still to be led by CEO Jörg Lohr and CFO Peter Hamela within the framework of the insolvency proceedings.
The newly formed board with Jörg Lohr at the helm and Peter Hamela as CFO has only been active for six weeks. In a detailed interview with our German colleagues at electrive.net in November, Lohr revealed that they had already addressed major problems, such as the company’s overly large product range. His strategy involved radically thinning out the product range to five product families with five models each.
Production to continue
In a German press statement attached to the announcement about insolvency proceedings, CFO Peter Hamela said: “Among other things, we have started to streamline processes as well as the product portfolio and to restructure the organisation,” she explains.
As Jörg Lohr indicates in the same document (in German), the production of charging stations is to continue as planned. “We are aiming to press ahead with the restructuring processes that have been underway for weeks in order to secure the continued existence of the company as well as the preservation of jobs,” Lohr said. “We would have liked to have sent a different message shortly before the festive season. Unfortunately, given the too-short window of opportunity, we were not able to do so.”
The Compleo CEO says he is still confident about the upcoming insolvency proceedings in self-administration: “We are confident that we will obtain the necessary financing in the new year. It just needs a little more time,” says Lohr.
The stock market reacted less optimistically to the news: On Monday evening, Compleo shares plunged by more than 80 per cent in after-hours trading. The news was forecast a fortnight ago, when an analyst came to the conclusion that the company had so far “not provided any information on the savings targets of its current measures and the corresponding costs”.
Compleo went public in October 2020 at an issue price of 49 euros per share. In between, the share price went up to 113 euros but has fallen steadily since its record high in September 2021. After the price collapse on Monday evening, the shares were still quoted at 1.12 euros in after-hours trading.
The proceeds from the IPO were invested in acquisitions, among other things. For example, the medium-sized Compleo not only took over the start-up Wallbe, but also the larger company, Innogy eMobility Solutions. While these acquisitions provided growth on paper, they came with their own problems: According to our colleagues at electrive.net, this not only resulted in three competing wallbox product lines (the Solo line developed by Compleo itself has already been withdrawn from the market), but also in clashes between different corporate cultures.
It is already clear that the two Wallbe plants that were taken over will be closed at the end of the year. It seems that Compleo has managed to upset the German charging industry with its push to commercialise two patents taken over from Innogy by licence – patents that until now everyone could use.
Including reporting by Sebastian Schaal.