Many Indonesians were surprised to learn that well-known herbal medicine brand Nyonya Meneer is close to bankruptcy. Nyonya Meneer is one of the oldest companies in Indonesia, going back far into colonial times, and has strong brand awareness among Indonesians. However, there may come a restart as businessman (and former trade minister) Rachmat Gobel seems committed to save the company.
Gobel met Nyonya Meneer President Director Charles Saerang on Wednesday evening (09/08) to discuss the possibilities of saving the company and brand from bankruptcy. Reportedly, Gobel wants to be involved in the debt restructuring of Nyonya Meneer. Gobel prefers not to see it as an acquisition but more as salvaging.
Saerang also informed that various investors are eager to acquire Nyonya Meneer. However, only Gobel wants to keep the founding family involved within the management of the company. Saerang is the third generation of Nyonya Meneer.
The strong brand of Nyonya Meneer and the fact that the company already has plenty of export markets, makes it worthwhile to invest in the company. Moreover, in Indonesia demand for traditional and herbal medicines is big, while raw materials are all present in Indonesia.
Saerang said IDR 50 billion (USD $3.8 million) worth of obligations need to be paid in order to avert bankruptcy. However, the company's total debt is estimated at IDR 198.4 billion. Although the Semarang District Court declared Nyonya Meneer bankrupt, Saerang remains confident that the verdict will be successfully appealed by challenging Law No. 37/2004 on Bankruptcy and Debt Obligation Postponement.
Gobel also stated that - if both parties decide to work together on the salvation of Nyonya Meneer - he would like to alter the production process in order to make it more efficient. He is eager to introduce technology from Japan to make Nyonya Meneer's production process more efficient.