The British and German Metzler subsidiaries of the bankrupt Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings have already gone bankrupt, as we have already reported, and the German one has been taken over by an investment company along with its licenses. A few days ago, a Venice court declared the final bankruptcy of Metzler Italia spa and its two sales subsidiaries, Sintesi srl and United Optical spa ? a form of pre-liquidation that will lead to the layoff of their 80 employees ? and appointed their judicial administrators. A hearing has been set for May 26 to determine the extent of the group's debt.

Last year the three companies had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, asking the group's creditors to reduce the amounts owed to them, but the majority voted against the plan and the court had no choice but to declare the group bankrupt. Last summer the group's total debt amounted to over €55 million, with over €39 million for Metzler alone and €8 million for each of the two subsidiaries, but these figures will no doubt be revised upwards.

An English company had apparently offered to take over the group and its workforce, on condition that its current licenses were confirmed. But both Benetton and Robe di Kappa revoked their agreements with the group, and the English buyer withdrew.

In the USA, meanwhile, Moulin's representative, Angie Yam, has filed an application for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Southern district court of New York for Metzler International USA. The application cites assets of US$13.3 million against debt of $33.6 million.