The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Signa Insolvency: Sale of Vienna Department Store

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 6 March 2024

Amid Signa’s financial woes, the insolvency administrator kick-starts the sale of Vienna’s halted “Lamarr” project.

Signa Insolvency: Sale of Vienna Department Store
Keystone/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

The “Lamarr” department store’s shell, situated in Mariahilfer Strasse in Vienna, is now up for sale due to the Signa conglomerate’s bankruptcy, led by Rene Benko.

This development was initiated by the appointed insolvency administrator, Clemens Richter. The “Lamarr” site, along with other Signa undertakings, has seen a pause in construction for weeks.

Richter highlighted the initial focus on securing the construction site post-insolvency announcement. The ongoing sale aims to identify a suitable buyer to resolve the project’s longstanding uncertainties. The sale timeline for the property, burdened with a €390 million lien, remains undefined.

Speculations suggest the Thai Central Group, Signa’s partner, as a potential purchaser. This aligns with previous expectations before the sale’s commencement.

February disclosures revealed plans to sell significant assets, including prominent Viennese properties and the Tyrol department store in Innsbruck.

The “Lamarr,” initially envisioned as a vibrant mix of a hotel and premium department store, complete with a rooftop public park, stands stagnant. This stall is a consequence of the financial turmoil within the Benko Group, pushing its crucial entities into insolvency.

Parallel developments include a potential deal for Munich’s “Romy” property, as reported by Bloomberg, involving the German builder Alfons Doblinger. This project, located at the erstwhile Kaut-Bullinger site, proposed a blend of retail and office spaces.

Signa’s retail influence extends to Switzerland, holding a 50% stake in the Globus Group, with the remaining share owned by the Central Group.

©Keystone/SDA

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