The future of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics’ UK operation has not yet been ensured, with its German parent company still locked-in discussions with its lenders over a refinancing deal.
As reported by Motortransport.co.uk in May, parent company Hellmann Worldwide Logistics GmbH is in negotiations with 11 funding partners about a €159m (£125m) loan, which makes up 40% of the group’s total borrowing.
The refinancing was set to be completed by August last year. It was then put back until the end of May 2016 but this deadline has now been missed too.
In the company’s most recent annual results for the year to 31 December 2014, KPMG auditor Graham Neale warned: “Hellmann [UK] is reliant on the parent group for funding, which in turn is dependent on the success of the parent group’s current refinancing exercise.”
In a further note, the auditor acknowledged that the directors remain confident in the future of the company after a review of its prospects to the end of 2017 and that the company has “the explicit support of the parent group” evidenced by its injection of £7.3m of share capital in December 2015.
However, the auditor warned: “The material uncertainty relating to the delays in the group refinancing and the ability of the parent group to continue to support the UK companies may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
The 2014 results show that the UK group made a loss of £1.5m in the period compared with a £2.2m loss in 2013 and had net liabilities of £2.8m in 2014, compared to net assets of £812,000 the previous year.
In a statement to Motortransport.co.uk, the 3PL said: “Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has been busy working on a blue print for the ideal future structure of the company, due to upcoming generational changes and a focus on clearer product divisions.
“Part of this discussion has been the renewal of our financing, which is a regular process. This is taking slightly longer than planned as a result of the additional complexity involved in transitioning the business to a new level of professionalism. We will finalise the remaining talks with the banks shortly.
“At present we are happy to confirm that we concluded the financial year 2015 with a revenue of €3.1bn and a very significant improvement in net income."