Sport, Leisure & Hospitality
A proven track record is the best way to demonstrate our strength and depth of expertise. Below are examples of our team’s recent appointments.
The Tiziano Gelati brand is known for its three ice-cream parlours and one restaurant in
northern Germany. Nevertheless, the company had to file for insolvency: proceedings were
ordered in summer 2015 and a PLUTA attorney was appointed insolvency administrator. A
few months later, the PLUTA team was able to sell the business with the consent of the
creditors’ assembly. The buyer has experience in the industry and is successfully operating
in other German locations. All staff were kept on. The creditors received a higher-than average
double-digit recovery rate on their claims.
There is good news for the ski resort in the Allgäu region. After an insolvency filing, things
are looking up again. The PLUTA insolvency law experts were able to find an investor for
Grüntenlifte. In addition to the ski amenities, the investor from the region also plans to create
a year-round family-friendly mountain attraction. New gondola and chair lifts, a natural
toboggan run and an extended network of hiking trails will ensure that visitors can enjoy the
Allgäu’s pre-alpine scenery. The sale was very challenging, as the PLUTA experts not only
negotiated an extensive array of contracts, but also had to take into account different
ownership structures and more. The notary appointment alone lasted 14 hours, which shows
how complex the matter was.
Lielje Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG
Insolvency proceedings for the assets of Lielje Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG from Lower
Saxony in Germany were opened in spring 2017. The company operated the well-known Ith-
Sole-Therme, a thermal spa offering a pool area, various saunas, a restaurant, wellness
services and more. The PLUTA restructuring experts kept the business running for nine
months, during which time visitors had access to all facilities, without restriction. Following
intensive negotiations, the PLUTA team found a solution and sold the business to a group of
seven investors, all of whom came from the region and felt it was very important to maintain
the spa. All jobs and the popular leisure facility in this rural part of Lower Saxony were
The well-known founder of the JT Touristik travel agency built the company into a familiar
brand in the tourism sector. Nevertheless, an application for insolvency followed in the
summer of 2017. The PLUTA restructuring experts ensured during the proceedings that
more than 10,000 trips went ahead for more than 30,000 holidaymakers. A solution followed
in late 2017 – the business was sold to the discounter Lidl, which strengthened its own travel
business with the acquisition. All jobs were saved through the solution, and the familiar JT
Touristik brand is still in use.
DORINT Hotel in Augsburg GmbH & Co. KG
DORINT Hotel in Augsburg GmbH & Co. KG filed for debtor-in-possession insolvency
proceedings in spring 2016. The investment company owned the hotel in the Bavarian city’s
impressive tower. During the proceedings, the hotel remained fully operational and was not
affected by the holding company’s insolvency. After considerable, complex negotiations and
a bidding process with more than 30 potential buyers, an investor was found just a few
months later. Management remained in charge and guided the company through the
proceedings itself. A PLUTA expert was appointed insolvency monitor by the court to support
the debtor-in-possession proceedings in the interests of the creditors. In the end, the
proceedings also paid off for the creditors, who received a 100% recovery rate.
Leader in the casino business
Zalis ran the restructuring of a French leader in the gambling industry. Daniel Cohen, CEO and founder of Zalis, and his team advised and supported the company in connection with its second equity capital raising and assisted in its operational and financial restructuring, in particular through an agreement reached with a large banking pool.
The support of Zalis resulted in a debt rescheduling (thereby avoiding asset sales in a difficult market), a new capital increase and a change in governance.
Improved financial results have confirmed a successful turnaround.
nicko cruises GmbH
nicko cruises, the market leader for river cruises in Europe, had to file for insolvency before the start of the main season. The insolvency administrator, Mr. Michael Pluta from PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH, managed to ensure that the tours in Europe, Africa and Asia took place until the end of the 2015 season. This means that the PLUTA team secured more than 30,000 tours, which was very difficult at the beginning. Moreover, the restructuring experts also optimised the capacity utilisation of the entire fleet and searched for an investor. With success: nicko cruises was acquired by the Portuguese holding company Mystic Invest which is active in the field of travel organisation. When business was restarted officially on 1 November 2015, the insolvency administrator’s team symbolically handed over the key to the new company.
Southampton Leisure Holdings plc
This case involved the successful rescue and sale of Southampton Football Club – Southampton FC had been in financial difficulty for some time due to its failure to regain top-flight status coupled with overheads too great for a Championship team. Under review of its bankers, the club desperately needed to reduce its costs and increase cash flow. The bank approached our team in London alliance member to advise the directors on a plan to save the club.
We implemented a radical restructuring plan leading to a successful sale of both the club and related assets. A hands-on, partner-led approach meant the Club survived, saving jobs and benefiting the community. Key elements of this success can be summarised as: focussed initiatives to raise cash; strong decision around removal of management; consensual restructuring around major creditors; winning creditor support; use of media to send required message; determination to achieve sale; and ultimately, creditor’s payment.