May 22, 2024

Perhaps an American businessman would be interested in taking over

Department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is in bankruptcy proceedings. But several potential buyers made offers. One person knows the company well.

Department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhaus is up for sale. It is also possible that a businessman from the USA may be interested in the company. As reported by Wirtschaftswoche, Richard Becker and his company NRDC could envisage taking over Galleria.

He will have experience, because before the merger of Karstadt and Kaufhof, Becker was already the owner of Galeria Kaufhof for several years through the Canadian retail chain Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), which was part of his portfolio. At that time, it was clear that the company was going downhill and HBC decided to sell to the Signa Group, headed by Rene Benco.

The administrator has a tight schedule

As Galleria's insolvency director, Stefan Dinkhaus, announced last week, there are still two parties interested in running. “Both interested parties have extensive experience in German retail and also have the funds for upcoming investment,” he said. It is still unknown who the other party involved is.

“Our goal is to certify and then communicate next week which of the candidates has been awarded the contract,” the insolvency director told the Tagesschau newspaper on Tuesday. If the meeting of creditors accepts the insolvency plan, it must be reconfirmed by the insolvency court. The court can then cancel the insolvency proceedings.

Galleria's third bankruptcy

At the beginning of January, Galleria filed for bankruptcy in the Essen District Court. The court began bankruptcy proceedings on Monday. This is the third bankruptcy in three and a half years.

There are currently 92 branches. How much there will be in the future is still unclear. According to Denkhaus, it will involve the acquisition of at least “60 plus X branches.” “We don't know yet how big this X is,” he said last week. The company, formerly a subsidiary of Signa Group, currently employs about 12,800 people. The rental amount is crucial to maintaining the branches concerned.