As reported by Billboard Business News in May, SPV Schallplatten Produktion und Vertrieb GmbH in Hanover has declared itself insolvent. The managing partner, Manfred Schütz, decided to submit an application to commence insolvency proceedings on May 25th - roughly equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In response to this, on May 27th, the District Court of Hanover appointed the attorney Manuel Sack as the provisional insolvency administrator.
According to a new press release from the label, SPV are ready to continue business. SPV-managing director Manfred Schuetz and appointed provisional administrator of insolvency, Manuel Sack, are planning business continuance of the independent company, while talking to potential new investors.
"We keep on doing business across all segments of our portfolio," affirms SPV-founder Manfred Schuetz. Though not all details of the new company structure are finalized yet, news is spread that SPV will still exist in the future under its company name. "We definitely see potential for ongoing business of the company," attorney Manuel Sack of lawyers office Brinkmann & Partner confirms: "Currently we´re still in the state of applying for insolvency proceedings."
He's convinced, that SPV will be part of the record business beyond august 1st. The first aim is to find a solution via external investors: "We are currently in negotiations with a huge number of potential partners," says Sack. Based on the interest of competitors, he's confident "to work out a medium- or long-term solution scenario."
Prior to the rule for interim administration of insolvency, interest in taking over SPV had been manifested by Edel, Warner Music, the Groove-Attack-companies and intermediately by Universal. Sack and Schuetz don´t want to name the current interest holders, or confirm any of them at this stage.
"All our activities are focussed on the aim, to do ongoing business with SPV after the process of insolvency and to keep and ensure the essential and basic assets of the company," Schuetz emphasizes. This includes the know-how and competence of the company in the fields of Rock and Metal since 25 years. An ongoing international artist relationship and export business is planned, though in a restructured and cost-optimized way, as the fixed costs of the former setup have been over the top to be handled by a middle enterprise like SPV. Another reason why SPV also shut down both offices in the USA, but have now decided to work together with former product manager Maria Ouellette to secure ongoing US business. Furthermore digital distribution and marketing and the audio book market are “important focal points.”
“Of the formerly 124 employees, there are currently around 80 people working at SPV,” says Schuetz. Head of Sales Germany/Austria, Joerg Peter just left the company, stated as “big loss” by Schuetz. Following up is former JTV- and TMI-employee Sven Gerke. All sales representatives and the export department team are fully being kept in place. Martin Ruder, former Head of Label management, is about to leave the company.
“Of course we had to face a certain level of restraint in the daily business relationship with some of the most important retail partners like MediaMarkt and amazon,” Sack admits. After having cleared the various legalities, we now proceed with doing “noteworthy business.” "We notice a stabilization of the overall situation and we´re able to offer the full power of our company portfolio to all artists and labels.”
Schuetz agrees: “We are aware of having caused uncertainties at our business partner side, but in fact we also received an overwhelming feedback of believe, trust and positive stimulation to move onwards from various parties.”
Schuetz also concedes "homemade mistakes“ in the past. A reason why there won´t be any more artist deals with unrealistic advances at SPV in the future. "We are mainly looking for mid-size releases that keep us on a financially safe and reliable level,” says Schuetz. The SPV team is currently putting together a completely reworked release schedule starting august 2009.
For the 25th anniversary of SPV there will be a sampler available plus new releases from ANNIHILATOR, THE MISSION and ICED EARTH in September - HELLOWEEN, SKINNY PUPPY, WELLE:ERDBALL and a new MAX RAADE DVD in October - KRUPPS, THE ANSWER and a new studio album by KLAUS SCHULZE in December. All releases will be supported by substantial promo/marketing campaigns.
(Photo: Brainstorming about how to continue doing business at SPV: Manfred Schütz and Manuel Sack)