The family-run company Wozabal, which provides industrial laundry services since 1896, was declared insolvent. As a consequence, up to 800 employees face unemployment.
Wozabal is a group consisting of ten companies with headquarters in Linz (Upper Austria). It offers textile services for hospitals, nursing homes, catering and industry. Recent investments in business expansion and mistakes in the implementation of automatization got the group in trouble. Cutbacks in the health sector and the food service industry have intensified the longstanding competition between companies in the industrial laundry sector.
Earlier this year banks urged Wozabal to sell the company but talks with potential buyers produced no results. Efforts from the management to turn the tide proved unsuccessful and banks froze the group's accounts in August 2017. Consequently, six out of ten companies of the group had to declare insolvency affecting up to 800 employees, most of them women. Wozabal emphasised its commitment to keep up operations and secure employment for its staff. Currently, negotiations are under way with potential investors on new loans or sale-and-lease-back arrangements to service debts.