German media giant Das Werk AG, which owns 85 per cent of Glassworks, has struggled with financial problems for some time and has now admitted that it will need to find new owners for much of it's post-production empire. And Glassworks managing director Hector MacLeod has told Broadcastthat he could be in line to head a team to buy out the UK company.
?It is sad but not entirely surprising news,' he said. 'This is a natural result of the recession. But we have several options, one of which is a management buy-out, and we're currently talking to banks about it.'
Glassworks credits include Inferno work for BBCi and BBC 4 branding, plus 3D jobs for Aero and Schweppes commercials.
MacLeod went on to stress Glassworks' independence: 'We don't draw money from Das Werk, we trade independently and we're profitable.' He hopes a deal can be sorted out by February. Until then, Glassworks will continue to trade as normal.
Despite agreeing a restructuring plan with its banks in August, Das Werk AG filed for insolvency earlier this month. A preliminary insolvency administrator has been appointed to approve company decisions.
A spokesman for Das Werk told Broadcast: 'Declining ad spend made this inevitable. We hope the [administrator's] report will be finished by January and that new investors will be found so the companies will be able to continue trading.'
Das Werk AG expanded rapidly in 2000, buying Spanish post-production group EnEfecto in June before making its first move into the US market in September by buying a 73 per cent stake in LA-based Promark Entertainment Group. The purchase of Glassworks followed in October.
In 2000 Das Werk also extended its German operations, opened facilities in Switzerland and started a joint-venture in Rotterdam. However, its buying spree was poorly timed as it coincided with the collapse of the European advertising market.