Beate Uhse Files For Bankruptcy Restructuring

BERLIN –German adult store chain Beate Uhse has announced it has filed for bankruptcy restructuring, saying the filing applies only to its holding company, while allowing its existing business to continue operating.

“The Management Board of Beate Uhse AG has decided to take this step because in the advanced negotiations with a group of investors on a financing transaction recently, no agreement could be reached,” Beate Uhse board member Michael Specht said in a statement, adding that the company’s goal is “to quickly and sustainably implement operational and financial restructuring.”

Beate Uhse markets and sells a wide variety of adult products, from sex toys and lingerie to adult videos, across numerous markets. The company has also operated several different brand names, including Christine Le Duc and Pabo, selling product through mail-order catalogs and online stores, in addition to operating dozens of brick and mortar stores under the Beate Uhse name.

Over the years, Beate Uhse sought to expand its online presence in response to market changes, operating VOD, webcam and downloadable content through portals like HotcamsOn, MovieOn, EnjoyOn and PrivatPorno. The entertainment division of the company was sold to tmc Content Group AG in September of last year.

Founded by former stunt pilot Beate Uhse-Rotermund in 1946, the company got its start distributing family-planning pamphlets under the title Schrift X. Later, Beate Uhse opened what is generally considered the world’s first adult shop, opening its doors in Flensburg, West Germany, in 1962.

Over the years, the company grew into a powerhouse, at its peak employing over 1500 people and generating over 270 million euros in annual revenue. Since 2007, the company’s revenues have reportedly been in decline, a fact largely attributed to the rise in popularity (and international market penetration) of free online porn. By 2015, the company’s revenues had declined to 128 million euros, and the number of employees fell to 600.

Beate Uhse was first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1999, two years before its founder’s death in 2001.

Despite the company’s recent inability to restructure 30 million euros of debt, Specht is still optimistic Beate Uhse will survive its current troubles and rebound in the long run.

“We have taken a course of action with which we’re very confident of being able to restructure the group of companies as a whole,” Specht said.


Line graph image © Sigurd Decroos

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