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German KaDeWe Group is said to be facing insolvency

The Signa complex could soon be facing another insolvency. According to several media reports, the German luxury department store group KaDeWe, which also includes the Lamarr department store on Vienna's Mariahilfer Strasse, which is still under construction, is on the verge of insolvency.

The application is to be submitted as early as this week, writes the Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday. The German business magazine "Capital" was the first to report on this.

Important locations of the KaDeWe Group are the department store of the same name in Berlin, the Oberpollinger in Munich and the Alsterhaus in Hamburg. Signa owns 49.9 percent of the KaDeWe Group, while the remaining 50.1 percent is owned by the Thai Central Group, which also owns half of Globus. The parent company of the KaDeWe Group is Signa Retail Selection, which is based in Switzerland and also owns the already insolvent department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof.

One reason for the possible impending insolvency could be the high rents, writes the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" on Monday. "According to a Handelsblatt report from December, the annual rent in the Oberpollinger amounts to 20 percent of sales, in the Alsterhaus to 17 percent and in the KaDeWe to 13 percent," the report states. Rents of up to 12 percent are common on the market. Most recently, the group achieved a turnover of 800 million euros.

According to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", around 1900 employees would be affected by the insolvency of the KaDeWe Group. The future of the Lamarr department store in Vienna would also be in jeopardy. Several weeks ago, the head of the Neubau district of Vienna called on the City of Vienna to take action to prevent the Lamarr from becoming a ruined building. Shortly afterwards, the City of Vienna said that it expected the building to be completed.

There is already an interested party for the Lamarr. Spar boss Hans Reisch expressed his interest in an interview with the "Salzburger Nachrichten" newspaper at the weekend. "We tried very hard to acquire the Hedy Lamarr - the Leiner on Mariahilfer Strasse at the time - even before it was sold to René Benko, but we didn't get the chance," said Reisch. "That would still be an asset we would be interested in. But nothing is concrete."

Signa Holding is once again in the spotlight in Vienna today. The audit hearing for the Signa holding company will take place at noon on Monday at the Commercial Court.


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