Trade union federation FNV is taking childcare organisation Smallsteps to court over its controversial bankruptcy and immediate relaunch.
Smallsteps, then known as Estro, went bust in July 2014 but restarted the same day with fewer daycare centres and staff. In total, 251 locations remained open but 130 closed and 1,000 people lost their jobs.
A number of directors and supervisory board members also moved over to Smallsteps.
The FNV maintains the restart was essentially a continuation of the same company and that Smallsteps should keep on all staff and daycare locations.
‘The evidence shows that Estro’s board and shareholders were busy for months in preparing a takeover which would allow them to avoid the debts as cheaply as possible,’ the union statement said.
‘They have clearly abused the pre-packaged insolvency construction. They did everything they could to keep the door closed to other takeover candidates and only negotiated with themselves.’
The daycare operations were taken over by private equity group HIG which was a major shareholder in Estro before the bankruptcy.
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