Press

2020-09-01

Restructuring of KAHLA porcelain

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New investor for the modern porcelain factory »

Restructuring of KAHLA porcelain:
After 26 years the Raithel family transfers the successful lifestyle brand and the modern porcelain factory in Thuringia/Germany to a new investor

The era of the owner family Raithel is characterized by unprecedented investments in modern technologies, the uncompromising integration of the sustainability strategy "KAHLA pro Eco", award-winning design collections and patented material innovations, the creative promotion of young talents and strong regional and international alliances. In 26 years, Günther Raithel and son Holger Raithel have developed an ailing GDR operation into a sustainable factory, an internationally recognized lifestyle brand and an unmistakable portfolio of contemporary porcelain products of the highest quality "Made in Germany. Over 100 design, innovation and ecology awards have been presented to KAHLA by international expert committees.

"Anyone who remembers the catastrophic state the East German porcelain factory was in when I took over it in 1993 will understand that I look back with pride on the past years. To date, 35 million euros have been invested in the modernization of KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH, a large part of it in machinery, robotics, resource and environmental protection. However, the biggest role of the success was played by the 250 dedicated employees, some of whom have been fighting for KAHLA Porcelain with dedication and hard work for more than 40 years," summarizes Günther Raithel.

The new founder of the company was honoured for his services in 2006 with the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon and in 2020 he was presented with the international "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his life's work at the Ambiente Fair in Frankfurt. In 2010, the Raithel family founded the "Günther Raithel Foundation - Educational Initiative KAHLA kreativ", which aims to promote young artists and designers and to conduct experimental research into the material porcelain.

"With the help of our designers, above all Professor Barbara Schmidt and later Lisa Keller, KAHLA redefined dining culture. Young, multifunctional, haptically exciting, personalized, mobile and now also digitally controllable: We were smiled at many times and rewarded in the end. We successively increased the turnover from the original 12 million euros per year to 30 million euros in 2014," reports Holger Raithel, managing partner of KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH since 2005.

For the patented velvet porcelain "touch!", the progressive company boss set up a laser laboratory in order to be able to offer personalization from lot size 1. A chance that was not only used by private persons. From a brand known since 1844 for the production of household porcelain, KAHLA developed into a respected partner for additional customers from the hotel, gastronomy and catering industry, as well as for customers from the industry and advertising sector. A completely new target group that KAHLA reaches with the non-slip porcelain patent Magic Grip are ship owners and caravan owners.

In order to conserve natural resources and to create an environmentally conscious company in times of climate change, Holger Raithel invested in the sustainability strategy "KAHLA pro Öko" 10 years ago, installed a photovoltaic system, reduced CO2 emissions by means of the latest oven technology and commissioned a service water treatment plant. For these efforts KAHLA was awarded numerous sustainability prizes and rewarded with new customers.

In 2017 and 2018, a major international project in which KAHLA had invested several million Euros failed. The resulting financial difficulties led to insolvency on 10 March 2020, which will be concluded with the sale of KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH in September 2020. During the self- administrated restructuring phase, which Holger Raithel and attorney Dr. Jürgen Wallner of the law firm WallnerWeiß managed together with the trustee Kai Dellit of the law firm hww, KAHLA achieved sales above plan and positive results despite the Corona lockdown. Strong online sales and a virtual porcelain market compensated for declining sales from international trade.

Under the name Porzellanmanufaktur Kahla/Thüringen GmbH, Daniel Jeschonowski, managing shareholder of Senator GmbH, takes over the porcelain factory in Kahla in September 2020.

"It is thanks to the cohesion of the KAHLA team and the strong partnerships of the brand that we were able to supply large customers with porcelain during the usually rather weak summer months and were able to master the Corona crisis better than other market participants. I would like to thank all the partners who helped to secure the restructuring phase, especially the law firms WallnerWeiß and hww. My family and I wish the new company every success and the employees all the best for the future," says Holger Raithel.

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