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Harz-Metall GmbH (HMG), part of the German French Recylex Group, was successfully sold in two stages. In the first transaction, the zinc recycling division was sold to a Belgian-Mexican joint venture consisting of Jean Goldschmidt International S.A. (JGI) and Zinc Nacional S.A. (ZN). As part of the second transaction, the Bettels company group (Bettels) took over the industrial park and the lead recycling division.

Harz-Metall GmbH, founded as a lead silver smelter in 1527, is one of the leading European recycling companies for waste containing lead and zinc and is operating one of the largest industrial parks in Lower Saxony. The company employed around 120 people at the Oker Industrial Park.

JGI, based in Brussels/Belgium, is specialized in the trade of non-ferrous metals with a focus on zinc. ZN, based in Monterrey/Mexico, is a family owned business with over 60 years of experience in zinc recycling. The acquisition of the zinc recycling division by the industry-experienced consortium enables HMG to benefit from its market knowledge and operational expertise and thereby to develop over the long term.

“We have been working with HMG for many years and know the quality of their products. This was a decisive factor in our interest in acquiring the zinc division,” comments Philippe Henry, Director of JGI.

“The acquisition of the Zinc Division of Harz-Metall is an important element in the pursuit of our global strategy. With this company, we are now in a position to continue our internationalization in Central Europe, following the construction of similar companies in South Korea and Turkey” added Eduardo Alverde Villareal, CEO of ZN.

As the future operator of the industrial park, Bettels will take over, among other things, the management of the mono-deposit for zinc recycling waste and the operation of the central waste water treatment plant on the over 80-hectare area, as well as the lead recycling division. As a family owned company, Bettels is active in the business areas of waste disposal/raw materials, transport logistics and infrastructure construction, among others, and complements its portfolio in the field of recycling through the acquisition.

“Harz-Metall and the industrial park offer great potential for development. We look forward to realize this potential together with our existing and new employees”, says Knut Bettels, Managing Director of the Bettels Group.

“With Jean Goldschmidt, Zinc Nacional and the Bettels group, Harz-Metall will be supported by long-term oriented owners with the right combination of commercial and technical expertise”, comments Henning Graw, Managing Director of IMAP M&A Consultants AG.

On May 14, 2020, HMG initiated protective shielding procedures as a result of the collapse of market prices for zinc and lead in the wake of the Corona pandemic. The self-administration was managed by Thomas Paul (paul und collegen) and the lawyers Andreas Ziegenhagen and Dirk Schoene (Dentons). Arndt Geiwitz (SGP Schneider Geiwitz & Partner) accompanied the insolvency proceedings as trustee.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to achieve this success despite the enormous complexity, particularly due to environmental law issues,” commented Thomas Paul, Managing Director of HMG.

“The aim of the protective shielding procedures was to transfer HMG’s business operations as quickly as possible and thereby secure as many jobs as possible in the long term. We have achieved this goal. We would like to thank IMAP, who provided us with professional and committed support in this highly complex M&A process,” adds Dirk Schoene, HMG’s authorized representative.

The IMAP team around Henning Graw, Carsten Biel, Alexander Grund and Sebastian Dinklage exclusively advised Harz-Metall GmbH in the search for suitable partners and supported them in structuring, negotiating and concluding the investor process. The IMAP Real-Estate Team around Florian Böschen and Basem El-Bouz supported the real estate process.