- Claims against insolvent companies can be auctioned off to the highest bidder
- In Germany it takes an average of four years to wind up an insolvent company, with the site you get immediate liquidity
- The seller can set a minimum price for the auction
The German receivables exchange Debitos is now offering a new trading segment on its online auction portal: From now on it's even easier to sell claims against insolvent companies to the highest bidder. On the site creditors and investors have a direct overview of current company insolvencies whose receivables are being searched or traded on the Debitos online exchange. At Debitos alone some €1.3 billion of private capital from German and international investors is waiting for offers from sellers.
In most insolvencies the creditors have to wait for several years before finding out how much their claims are still really worth. So it often makes sense to sell claims to the highest bidder as quickly as possible, rather than leaving non-performing capital on the books. But how to find the best price and a solvent buyer? At the receivables exchange claims against insolvent companies can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Since the online exchange started up in late 2012 more than 1,000 creditors, including several Landesbanks, have sold non-performing loans (NPL) valued at more than one billion euros via Debitos.
Claims against insolvent companies are one type of what are known as "distressed assets". There is a large international market for this kind of investment – a market with risks, but interesting prospects too.
Last year already saw the first auctions on the site involving significant volumes of claims against companies like Prokon and KirchMedia. "We are seeing great interest in this segment", says Timur Peters, managing director of Debitos, explaining why it is being expanded. "In Germany it takes an average of four years to wind up an insolvent company. The outcome is often uncertain and capital is tied up all the time", says Peters. "So it is logical that we are paying more attention to this segment, because it provides much-needed liquidity directly."
Sellers at Debitos can set a minimum price and then watch how investors place bids for the receivables in the online marketplace – the highest bid wins. All that is required to register a seller are the contact details of an authorised representative, a valid company address, VAT ID and a valid email address. Then the company details are verified to ensure that the information provided is correct. The competent Debitos team takes care of preparing the documentation for the auction. For banks and other companies the presence of currently some 350 specialised investors from all over Europe represents a real incentive to offer their outstanding receivables from a range of insolvencies for sale. Investors registered on the exchange consist mainly of banks, funds, debt collection agencies and lawyers.