The German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch wants to do no new business with countries outside of Nato influence sphere, such as Saudi Arabia. With the goodness of its heart, the strategy has to do, a change of less than with legal problems in the field of exports.
“We only want solid countries supply, so without a doubt democratic, is clearly not corrupt and in Nato or Nato-close”, said an employee who wants to remain anonymous. The company speaks of the “green” countries. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia will fall away as Mexico, Brazil or India. Also, the Turkey, the Heckler & has been classified by cook as a “yellow” country, should not be supplied.
center for Conversion cheers
the step is Justified by the fact that export permits are received in such States only with difficulty or not at all. In addition, they wanted to get out of the negative headlines. “Moral criticism of such exports, we can certainly relate to that,” explains the Manager. The change of course has been internally debated heatedly, because the export potential is substantially limited.
In the case of industry professionals, meets the change in strategy. “In principle, it is exactly what we demand,” says Wolf-Christian Paes from the International center for Conversion, Bonn. However, the company is a result only of the political reality. The export restrictions had been tightened under the Federal government. “Heckler & Koch is jumping on a moving train – this is legitimate, but not a do-gooder.”
The Swabian weapons forge, with its 850 employees and around 200 million euros in annual sales has stormy times are in the past. Arms deliveries to Mexico, called on the public Prosecutor’s office on the Plan, accusing the company of violations of the war weapons control and foreign trade law. In the coming year, Ex-Manager and the company itself will stand as a Mitbeschuldigte in court.
“Heckler & Koch is not the only small arms manufacturer that has made shady business – but he is the only one that is before the court,” says Pieter Wezeman from the Stockholm peace research Institute Sipri.
adds His Bonn colleague Paes, the sales practices of Heckler & Koch had been in the past, although quite aggressive. Since you did not have other weapons manufacturers from other countries. “It was previously customary in the industry – because of the Standard of the industry is very low, it is not necessarily positive.”
Heckler & Koch benefits from the risk of terror
economically it looked to the company for a long time bad, the company was on the verge of Bankruptcy. A bond in the amount of 295 million euros was placed in 2011 with an interest rate of a whopping 9.5 percent. In order to reduce the pressure of the capital market, something that was the majority owner Andreas Heeschen 2015 a financial injection of EUR 60 million. At the beginning of 2016, the Ex-head of the pump manufacturer Putzmeister Norbert Scheuch, the chief chair then took over. The was the Green-country-strategy.
The business was recently better, the French army well-ordered guns of 100,000 storm. Ultimately, the increased terrorist threat has a positive impact on the order books. After the attack in nice ordered French guards, 2000 assault rifles, 3000 machine guns to go to Baden-württemberg police.
The debt fell significantly to around 230 million euros. The company returned to the profit zone in the first three quarters of 2016, a gain of 3.8 million euros was achieved, with a loss of 10.3 million euros in the prior-year period.
a Positive effect, a higher Fund makes. It was a year ago, only 13 million euros, 30 million euros. The calmed down investors. The Heckler & Koch-bond – the beginning of the year is on the stock exchange, with 20 per cent in the Minus – now back to about 100 percent, i.e. the same value as the output.
“this year has done operatively and positively developed, but the debt is still too high,” says Moody’s Analyst Moritz Melsbach. Mrs Anke cattle-man sees the Green-countries-strategy to be positive. “As a result, the quality of the order book is improving. So there are less risks and less delays in exports – it makes the business predictable.” But the company will stay on “non-investment grade”, “speculative”.
Restrictive laws from brake companies
A brake pad for good business the restrictive German laws on arms exports. “Since you are now much more limited than competitors from Israel, the Czech Republic, Italy or Belgium,” says Sipri expert Wezeman. The policy in Germany and, ultimately, for historical reasons. “Heckler & Koch sold a product that killed, this Stigma is perceived to be in Germany much stronger than in other States.”
it became known As from business circles, you wait in more than a dozen cases, the green light of the authorities for exports – for example, in Oman and Singapore. For a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia components for rifles missing – “golden parts”, i.e. parts of the bolt, which may only be manufactured in Germany.
Almost absurd: Of 100 components for the rifle can be fabricated 94 in Saudi Arabia, only six are missing. Because exactly the but, the whole factory is useless. The Saudis rumble, the Federal government is, however, no green light. A few months ago, Heckler & Koch forced before the Frankfurt administrative court, that the government needs to decide – no matter how.
That Heckler & Koch insists on the Saudi Arabia export, and on approval of the Oman and Singapore is waiting, by the way is not a contradiction to the Green-country-strategy – because the rule is only for new business. Old commitments to wool, offspring, says the company. Purely economically, this is understandable. Because in Saudi Arabia, the company has deposited million dollar securities.