The good news is, Kettner has been just bought as this is written by the owners of Blaser, Sauer and Mauser. One of the owners is Michael Lüke, a prominent hunter and member of the SCI Bavaria Chapter. Insiders say the entire business - the retail company, as well as the agency - is in good hands and should return to profitability soon.
In the meantime, one of the questions floating around is, how many hunt deposits were lost by clients of Kettner Jagdreisen? Numbers are impossible to come by, but some hunters do appear to have been left holding the bag, some of them for significant sums paid toward African safaris. According to German law, in a buyout of the sort that took place with Kettner, the debts of the old company are not passed on to the new owners, but remain with what is called a Court Administrator, who uses the buyout funds to pay off outstanding payroll, bank debts, then outstanding taxes. Only after those are paid are funds earmarked for creditors. It would be unusual, we have been told, if there are enough funds left to pay hunters who lost deposits.
At press time, we reached the new CFO of Kettner Jagdreisen, Kirsten Müller, who said she simply could not comment yet on how the lost deposits would be handled. "We only bought the company 10 days ago, so we have a lot of work to do right now," she said, going on to add that "maybe some kind of arrangement can be made" about lost deposits. Here at The Hunting Report, we like to stay on top of things like lost deposits and whether they ever get paid back. German........(continued)