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New chapter Chinese-owned Swissmetal sold to Swiss investors

The factory premises of Swissmetal in Reconvilier

Swissmetal has a long history beginning in the second half of the 19th century. But the company came under growing pressure in the 1980s as a result of international competition.

(© Keystone/Christian Beutler)

The cash-strapped Baoshida Swissmetal company has been taken over by a group of Swiss investors six years after it was sold to a Chinese group.

The newly-founded Swissmetal Industries, backed by two private investors, said it had acquired the firm, which employs about 160 people at two factories in the small towns of Dornach and Reconvilier.

The near-bankrupt copper alloy manufacturer went into provisional receivership, but a plan for a debt-restructuring moratorium was delayed several times pending a legal case.

The main creditor, the Chinese Development Bank, gave a €15 million (CHF16.4 million) loan to Baoshida Swissmetal in 2016 and has accused the administrator of providing insufficient information about the financial situation of the manufacturer. In May, the Chinese Development Bank refused an offer of CHF9 million by Swiss Team for the company.

The Chinese chief executive of Baoshida Swissmetal was dismissed in 2018 and was given a suspended prison sentence by a Swiss court for unlawful business practices last year.

On Tuesday, the new owners of Swissmetalexternal link announced plans to restructure the company in the near future and limit its production to one factory.

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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