Gardelegen glass factory in forward gear – Hindusthan National Glass & Industries Ltd. invests in subsidiary
Construction machines have burrowed into the sandy soil at Gardelegen in the Altmark region. They create the prerequisites for the construction of a new warehouse for the HNG Global glassworks. In the future, bottles shall wait for their delivery on an area of 24,000 square metres. This corresponds to the size of three football fields. An eleven hectare large property has been purchased in order to be able to expand the glass factory’s production capacities. After the corporate insolvency last year, all signals are green again. The process of restructuring the company is completed in its essential parts.
Managing Director Josef F. Bockhorst is satisfied. “The location is beyond dispute. Our logistically excellent location in the vicinity of sand and soda deposits in Saxony-Anhalt has proven its worth and facilitated the rescue of the business operation,” he says. Moreover, the nascent A14 motorway substantially improves the transport connection. Since August 2011, Hindusthan National Glass & Industries Ltd. (HNG) from India – which prevailed among 30 interested parties – has been the new owner of the former Agenda Glas AG Gardelegen. The Indian bidders signed the purchase agreement on 12 May. The course for the new start was already set twelve days after initiation of insolvency proceedings. All workers were retained. With investments amounting to more than ten million euros the production shall be expanded in the shortest period and the company will be guided into the profit zone. Agenda Glas AG had already invested a total of about 48 million euros in the premises and facilities. The production of container glass started in February 2010.
Since the start of production in Gardelegen the glass factory has had to struggle with initial difficulties, says Bockhorst. It was not possible to optimise all processes of the latest technology fast enough. Skilled personnel who control the sensitive process had been lacking. Despite an extensive training programme with training phases in an English glass factory and a Swedish training centre this alone was insufficient. The new owner came in at this point. Engineers and technicians from India were immediately sent to Saxony-Anhalt in order to make one of the world’s most modern glass factories fit for the market. One still comes across them at every turn in the production process. With sure instinct they let their German colleagues in on the secret of glass production. The gloomy mood of the brief insolvency phase has long since been forgotten in the factory halls. “Not only have almost all employees remained loyal to us, our customers also demonstrated trust, particularly since we have been able to continue delivery without interruption. The insolvency administrator immediately recognised the chances for the company’s continued existence,“ reports the managing director.
Plans for the expansion of the factory will be implemented gradually. Capacities for the accommodation of finished products on the company premises can be concentrated with the construction of the warehouse. This helps to save expenses for rented warehouse facilities. Additional technology helps to produce less waste and thereby to produce more effectively. At this stage, 600,000 to 800,000 bottles a day are being produced. In addition, the preparations for developing future glasses in the so-called wide-neck sector are also underway. A second melting tank is also under discussion, reports Bockhorst. There is no time to look back. The forward gear has been set in motion. In the meantime, intensive negotiations with potential customers are underway. The firm would like to additionally serve them starting in the second half of the year. “Of course, the great experience of our Indian owners in the market and their contact with globally operating beverage manufacturers helps in this context,“ concludes the managing director. He also praises the massive support from the state and local political level as well as Nord/LB and the Saxony-Anhalt Investment Bank. Everybody supported the Gardelegen firm during the insolvency period.
The HNG Group with headquarters in Kolkata was established in 1946 by C. K. Somany. The company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange and Calcutta Stock Exchange. The stock exchange value is 350 million euros. Production facilities are located in six centres in India. A total of 11 furnaces and 44 production lines are operated there. In India the group has a market share of 55 per cent with glass packaging.
Author: Klaus-Peter Voigt
Josef F. Bockhorst
ph: + 49 (0)3907-7757855