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Unrest at Galeria after Signa bankruptcy: "A new owner would be the best solution"

2023-11-29T15:28:33.339Z

Highlights: Unrest at Galeria after Signa bankruptcy: "A new owner would be the best solution" Verdi trade unionist Corinna Groß: "The situation at Signa is also causing unrest among the employees of Galeria" Signa Holding GmbH, owned by Austrian real estate and retail entrepreneur René Benko, announced insolvency proceedings this Wednesday. The legally binding restructuring plan provided for the closure of around a third of the 129 branches. Some of the locations have already been closed this year and almost 20 more will close their doors in January 2024.



Status: 29.11.2023, 16:24 PM

By: Robert Wallenhauer

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After René Benko's Signa Holding filed for insolvency, Galeria is asking itself: What impact will the bankruptcy have? The union is hoping for a new owner.

Vienna - After the Signa Holding GmbH, owned by Austrian real estate and retail entrepreneur René Benko, announced insolvency proceedings this Wednesday, the trembling is also starting at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. "The situation at Signa is also causing unrest among the employees of Galeria," Verdi trade unionist Corinna Groß told Wirtschaftswoche.

On Wednesday (29 November), company circles at the department store group initially expressed restraint about the insolvency of Signa Holding: "The situation does not have an immediate negative impact on Galeria at the moment. We will calmly await the outcome of this orderly procedure," it said. Jürgen Ettl, the chairman of the general works council of Galeria, did not want to comment on the topic when asked.

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: After the insolvency of the parent company, the trembling begins. © Christoph Reichwein/dpa

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is part of the Signa Holding network

Signa's real estate and retail group consists of a complex network of companies with several hundred individual companies. This also includes Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. Signa's difficulties could therefore possibly also have a negative impact on the financially troubled department store group.

At the end of 2022, Germany's last large department store group had to seek rescue in protective shield proceedings for the second time. In March 2023, the creditors' meeting approved the insolvency plan and cleared the way for the restructuring. Signa had pledged 200 million euros for this purpose. The first 50 million is reportedly to flow in February.

Retail expert: Where will the Galeria cash injection come from?

"It is becoming apparent that Signa will not provide the promised and necessary financial support for Galeria," said trade expert Gerrit Heinemann from the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. "The question is, where is this money going to come from?" says the trading expert. Meanwhile, the Verdi trade union is hoping for a change of ownership. "A new owner who finally has trading expertise might be the best solution," trade unionist Corinna Groß told the magazine.

The legally binding restructuring plan provided for the closure of around a third of the 129 branches. Some of the locations have already been closed this year, and almost 20 more will close their doors in January 2024. Branches in Berlin, Bielefeld, Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Stuttgart and Wuppertal, among others, are affected. According to the company, 92 stores will remain in the end.

(with material from dpa and AFP)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-11-29

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