Just a year and a half since Neckermann Belgium was saved thanks to a takeover by a Spanish tour operator, the company faces going under once again.
After the British tour operator Thomas Cook of which Neckermann was a subsidiary went under in 2019, the Spanish tour operator Wamos took over Neckermann Belgium. However, like other companies in the travel industry, Wamos has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
At the end of last year Neckermann asked the Commercial Court for protection against its creditors. However, this procedure was halted when 3.5 million euro was promised by Neckermann’s mother company in Spain.
Els De Coster of the liberal trade union ACLVB told VRT News “Of this just 100,000 euro has been sent a couple of times. We are still waiting for most of it”. However, a member of Neckerman’s management told the financial daily ‘De Tijd’ that it had never been the intent that the money would be transferred from Spain all in one go. Nevertheless, he admits that 1 million euro had been expected at the start of this month.
Management at Neckermann has set a deadline of 22 February for a solution to be found. If this is not the case they will file for bankruptcy. There are now three possibilities. Either Wamos comes up with sufficient funding to save its Belgian subsidiary or a new investor comes forward or Neckermann will go under with the loss of 150 jobs.
In order to prevent its debts mounting any further this month, Neckermann has laid off its 150 staff. They are currently on temporary unemployment. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and other costs such as rent still need to be paid.