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FFP2 mask manufacturer Hygiene Austria is insolvent

FFP2 mask manufacturer Hygiene Austria is insolvent
FFP2 mask manufacturer Hygiene Austria is insolvent
Image: VOLKER WEIHBOLD

A restructuring procedure without self-administration was opened at the regional court in Wiener Neustadt for the 100 percent subsidiary of the lingerie manufacturer Palmers, as the creditor protection association KSV1870 announced on Monday. The relevant court decision was made on Friday. The debtor company Hygiene Austria LP GmbH was founded right at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The sole owner is Palmers Textil AG. “In 2021 and 2022, the company was the focus of media coverage,” reminds the credit protection association. The FFP2 mask scandal involving Hygiene Austria and Palmers caused a stir.

  • Mask scandal: Palmers and Hygiene Austria reject allegations
  • More on this: FFP2 mask scandal: Around 70 euros for those affected

Serious allegations of tax evasion

The mask production company was originally founded in Austria as a joint venture between Lenzing and Palmers. To the outside world, Hygiene Austria presented itself as a company with products “made in Austria”, received company visits from high-profile political delegations and received extensive government contracts. It was later revealed that masks were being sold from China. Towards the end of the pandemic, the company was also rocked by a financial scandal – in the summer of 2022, the daily newspaper “Der Standard” reported on previously “publicly unknown, serious allegations” regarding “continued tax evasion on a large scale using counterfeit or falsified receipts”. Palmers is said to have evaded at least 693,000 euros in customs and import sales tax when importing protective masks from China via Palmers Germany. Palmers and Hygiene Austria rejected the allegations.

Payment rate of 20 percent offered

In the insolvency proceedings, Hygiene Austria is now offering all unsecured insolvency creditors a payment quota of 20 percent, payable within two years of acceptance of the restructuring plan, according to the KSV. For now, this is the legal minimum offer.

“The next few weeks will show whether the restructuring efforts can actually be maintained,” emphasized creditor protector Brigitte Dostal from KSV1870. “The restructuring plan offer will also have to withstand strict scrutiny so that the payment proposal presented will be accepted by the creditors,” she added.

According to the information, claims can now be registered via KSV1870 (ins.fö[email protected]). The registration deadline ends on March 21, 2024. The first examination, reporting and restructuring plan will take place on April 4. The Mödling lawyer Romana Weber-Wilfert acts as the insolvency administrator.

Further information about the causes of insolvency, the amount of liabilities and the number of creditors affected will follow shortly.

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Source: Nachrichten

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