Rabe, the German-based machinery manufacturer, has applied for “bankruptcy in self-administration”. That’s according to a report in German publication Top Agrar.

This is not the first time that Rabe (best known for its ploughs and cultivation equipment) has encountered financial difficulties.

According to Top Agrar, the Rabe factory in Bad Essen (Germany) has been owned by the Gregoire Besson group for many years. The group bought the plant in 2011, following financial problems at Rabe at that time.

Simon Schluchter, a member of the board of directors of Gregoire Besson GmbH, was quoted as saying: “We seek to protect the bankruptcy in self-administration, as part of the Gregoire Besson group, to complete an investor process for the whole group successfully.

Our stated goal is to support the sale of the entire group in an optimal way through our application for insolvency. We see it as the best option for us to get as many jobs as possible and, at the same time, to achieve the best possible creditors’ satisfaction.

He added: “Through the bankruptcy in self-administration, we have now gained time to maintain our business and, as a relevant part of the Gregoire Besson group, to ensure the continued existence of the Bad Essen location.”

Wider concerns

In wider machinery-related news, CEMA – the association that represents European (agricultural) machinery manufacturers – has said that the ‘general business (climate) index’ of the agricultural machinery industry in Europe has “continued to deteriorate significantly”.

According to the body, all segments are affected (except lawn, garden and municipal equipment). As a result of the “renewed sharp deterioration”, it says that both current business levels and future expectations are now “negative for the first time since 2016”.

A spokesperson explained: “Manufacturers’ high order volumes, from the strong order intake in the past, have apparently shrunk to a level where the recent order declines cannot be counterbalanced anymore.”

CEMA’s most recent survey apparently confirms that “dealer stocks are at comparatively high levels for both new and old machines – across almost all markets”. It says that this is most evident in the UK, followed by Germany.

The spokesperson continued: “Survey participants consider the UK to be the country with the worst prospects. The confidence level for Germany is low as well.”