Tungsram files for bankruptcy protection

Manufacturing

Hungarian lighting company Tungsram on Wednesday said it filed for bankruptcy protection after one of its creditors, Magyar Eximbank, placed a lien on its bank accounts, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Tungsram said it would strive to reach an agreement with its creditors within the 90 days allowed under the procedure, while continuing to make payroll, pay taxes and advance an ongoing reorganization. Workers, unions, and creditors have been informed of the step, it added.

Chairman-CO Jörg Bauer said management would do everything in its power to ensure the company's continued operation "based on a transition to a profitable business structure". He reiterated goals communicated in recent weeks to make Tungsram a "smaller, more flexible, more competitive company, focusing on its innovative businesses".

Tungsram's production, services, and global trade activities will continue while it is under bankruptcy protection.

The company announced on April 27 that it would cease production of conventional lighting and lay off 1,600 workers by year-end.

In an interview with regional daily Zalai Hírlap early in April, Bauer said Tungsram, which made losses in 2020 and 2021, faces "serious challenges", pointing to the COVID pandemic's impact on business, global supply chain interruptions, and the war in Ukraine.

Tungsram, which was bought out from GE in 2018, is still in the "early phases" of its independent existence, focusing on the transformation of its old businesses and the expansion of new activities, he told the paper. "That work can't be completed if we continuously have to struggle to survive," he added.

Tungsram Operations Kft had a loss of HUF 8 bln on net sales revenue of HUF 72.4 bln in 2020, the latest available public records show. Exports accounted for HUF 66 bln of turnover. The company's average headcount was 3,266 for the year.

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