Kettler, an institution of German manufacturing that traces its roots back to Germany's post-war boom, has filed for insolvency in self administration. The company is renowned for its bicycles and children's toys.
The iconic German manufacturer of sports and leisure equipment said Wednesday that the bankruptcy proceedings were necessary to save it from repossession by a bank.
The step would allow Kettler to "avoid uncoordinated acquisition by an investor and get the company back on track," it said in a statement.
A household name in Germany, Kettler was founded in the western town of Ense-Parsit in 1949 and achieved international acclaim with the introduction of the world's first aluminum bicycle in 1977.
It also produced at-home exercise equipment that became popular with many German families. Its stationary bicycle, the "Golf," was a ubiquitous fixture in many European homes in the '80s.
But perhaps Kettler's most famous device was the Kettcar, a small, four-wheeled cart for children with a steering wheel and pedals.
The company said Wednesday that business would continue as usual as it gets its bearings and comes up with a restructuring plan that must first be authorized by a local court.
cjc/uhe (dpa, Reuters)