Engineering services firm Royal Imtech employs 22,000 people in 35 countries

Troubled engineering firm Royal Imtech bankrupt

Engineering services company Royal Imtech has been declared bankrupt with its Marine and Nordic divisions due to be sold to private investors.

The break-up of the Dutch firm follows a major accounting scandal that hit the Dutch firm's German and Polish operations in 2013 and resulted in two years of financial turmoil that saw its share price collapse.

The company, which employs 22,000 people in 35 countries and has annual sales of roughly €4bn (£2.9bn) filed for protection from creditors on Tuesday after its German unit filed for insolvency.

In a statement the company announced its Marine business would be sold to Pon Holdings and Parcom Capital and that "a sales process for the Nordic division is ongoing and expected to be concluded in the short term." No financial figures were given, but Imtech said the sale of the two units would secure 7,300 jobs.

"Royal Imtech has been assured by the trustees in bankruptcy that they are geared to preserve as many Imtech group companies as possible in the interests of all creditors, employees and other stakeholders," it said.

The administrators said in a statement they had reached "unconditional agreement" with bankers over the sale of the Marine and Nordic divisions and that they were also in talks with dozens of potential buyers for Imtech's operations in Spain, Belgium, Britain and for its Traffic and Infrastructure division.

"There has been a lot of interest in the Dutch businesses of Imtech as well," their statement said.

Imtech said a number of parties had also expressed "a genuine interest" to take over other viable parts of the business, but proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off debt.

"It is not envisaged that Royal Imtech and its shareholders will enjoy financial benefit from any such current or future transactions," it added.

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