BAUM Retec AG, the parent company of BAUM USA and makers of the VarioUltra braille displays, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Germany. Baum USA remains open, however.
BAUM USA's CEO David Bradburn likens this to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protections in the United States, which are often used by companies to solidify their financial situation and restructure. Indeed, many companies survive and become stronger after a situation like this.
The U.S. arm of BAUM is currently out-of-stock on the VarioUltra braille displays but continues to offer support. It also stocks magnification products from Zoomax which are still available. They formerly supplied earlier generations of the Brailliant and BrailleConnect displays for HumaNware until 2011. According to a message from Bradburn, "BAUM Retec AG was founded 37 years ago by our founder, chairman, and CEO, Wolfgang Baum. He and the rest of the leadership team at BAUM are working tirelessly to resolve this situation and resume normal business operations. BAUM Retec AG is working closely with German court-appointed attorneys to best manage their day-to-day operations, including production of products for which orders have been received. Additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks as new information becomes available."
We've included the entirety of his message below.
From: David Bradburn
Subject: [varioultra] Message regarding BAUM Retec AG
Hello VarioUltra List Members:
In recent days, our parent company BAUM Retec AG filed for bankruptcy protection in Germany. As I understand, this filing is similar to a US corporation filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the USA. This means that BAUM Retec AG hopes to restructure its operations and to eventually exit from bankruptcy protection in the next few months. I cannot say how this will affect BAUM (USA) Inc. in the future, but for obvious reasons hope everything works out and that we continue serving our customers.
What I can say is that:
- We continue to provide technical support for BAUM products by phone and email
- If warranty repairs are required and can be performed by BAUM (USA) Inc. staff, we will continue to offer such service.
- We continue to represent BAUM products, although we remain out of stock for VarioUltra and VisioDesk, and do not know when the next shipment will come to us.
- We continue to represent Zoomax products, and have those products in stock for sale.
BAUM Retec AG was founded 37 years ago by our founder, chairman, and CEO, Wolfgang Baum. He and the rest of the leadership team at BAUM are working tirelessly to resolve this situation and resume normal business operations. BAUM Retec AG is working closely with German court-appointed attorneys to best manage their day-to-day operations, including production of products for which orders have been received. Additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks as new information becomes available.
On behalf of the staff at BAUM (USA) Inc., and the more than 130 employees who work for the BAUM companies worldwide, we thank you for your ongoing patience and support.
BAUM (USA) Inc.
Ouch. This is a troubling development indeed. There's already little enough competition in Braille devices, particularly smaller ones. This could take down not only the Vario line, but the APH Refreshabraille as well. I'm not sure about the Brailliants, they look like they're built in the style of Baum however I'm not sure if Baum still builds them the way they did when the Brailliant was a re-branded SuperVario.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.