Kingsbridge-owned model maker files for insolvency

Märklin, a 150-year-old German manufacturer of model railway equipment, hopes to continue its restructuring process. The company has been owned by UK private equity firm Kingsbridge Capital and Goldman Sachs since 2006.

Celebrated German model railway manufacturer Märklin, which was bought by UK private equity firm Kingsbridge Capital and Goldman Sachs Group in 2006, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Märklin: after 150 years it has gone off the rails

Märklin, which was founded 150 years ago, was bought during a time of crisis for the model maker. Its acquisition by private equity backers, the value of which was undisclosed, was intended to drive a restructuring process in the firm and return it to profitability.

The restructuring measures had “not worked out within the originally planned cost and time frameworks”, Dietmar Mundil, Märklin chief executive, said in a statement.

Mundil added that the management team was determined to restore Märklin “with its cult status” to “a permanent place in the market.”

The company makes its products in Germany and Hungary, employs 1,300 people and had sales of about €128 million last year.

Kingsbridge Capital was formed towards the end of 2003 by Matthias Hink, a former director at Dresdner Kleinwort Capital in London, and Ion Florescu, a former partner at e-millennium, a Deutsche Bank-affiliated venture capital fund. Kingsbridge merged with Austrian investment manager Hardt Group in 2005.