Handtmann Armaturenfabrik to restructure

Downturn in the beer market

Handtmann Armaturenfabrik to restructure

Since its establishment in 1873, the Handtmann Group of Companies has been in a state of continued transformation. One of the reasons why it is so successful and robust is because it constantly adapts the various areas of business in line with pioneering markets. This also involves withdrawing from industries that are less promising. Currently, the difficult situation in the beer market is having a negative impact on the Handtmann Armaturenfabrik. In this context, the company is planning to restructure; a move which will also be accompanied by job cuts. “The Handtmann Group of Companies comprises five divisions. We are expanding some of these divisions, for example to prepare us for the issue of electric mobility. Buying Oelmaier in December and our need for another production site for the light metal casting division are a couple of examples in this context. In other divisions, such as at Handtmann Armaturenfabrik, we have to adapt to a changed market,” explains Thomas Handtmann, Managing Director of Albert Handtmann Holding GmbH & Co. KG.

The brewery industry, which was the most important market for the Armaturenfabrik up until now, is facing difficult times. The volume of beer produced worldwide is hardly growing at all. Just ten brewery companies share three quarters of the market and they put pressure on the prices. This is worsened by strong international competition. The difficult situation is now making it necessary for Handtmann Armaturenfabrik to restructure. The company plans to reduce its dependence on major individual projects for the brewery industry, adapt the production capacities accordingly and increase its commitment to new markets. This will be accompanied by the loss of 70 of a total of approx. 150 jobs at Handtmann Armaturenfabrik.

Investigations are currently being carried out as to whether there are any opportunities for the employees affected to be deployed in other companies in the Handtmann Group of Companies. In addition, funds have been set aside to facilitate mutual and socially acceptable agreements. “The Handtmann Group of Companies is in a good position and staff is being sought in the other divisions. We take the responsibility for our staff very seriously and will work hard to find solutions that are satisfactory for all those involved,” emphasises Thomas Handtmann. The Works Council and the IG Metall trade union were informed about the restructuring and negotiations on a settlement of conflicting interests and a redundancy package are to be conducted in good time.

The Handtmann Armaturenfabrik will continue to operate in the global market from its base in Biberach. It will design and assemble systems and components at this site and commission them at the customers’ premises.

Market strategy for other industries

Handtmann expects the strategic restructuring to result in good opportunities for the development of the Armaturenfabrik. The plan is to concentrate on small and medium-scale breweries, mainly in Europe. Additionally, business with producers of alcohol-free drinks and liquid foodstuffs is to be expanded further. The area of filtration and separation is already developing very satisfactorily. The filtration and separation products separate and clean liquids. They are used in a variety of branches, such as in dairies and in the pharmaceuticals industry. The markets offer good growth opportunities, including in the context of stricter environmental stipulations and an increasing demand for proteins and enzymes which are used, for example, in dietary supplements and functional food. The Handtmann Armaturenfabrik is already successful in this market segment. With an expert research and development team, existing products are enhanced and new opportunities for the company are exploited. “These measures are painful. But the restructuring of the Armaturenfabrik is necessary in order to ensure that it can continue to survive in the market,” explained Thomas Handtmann.