Disagreements between Galeria and prospect Markus Schön?

The department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof and the interested investor Markus Schön do not seem to get together at first. At least that’s what Schön claims. The office of the insolvency administrator of the department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof has canceled a planned appointment with buero.de Handel AG, said Markus Schön, managing director of the online shop for office supplies, on Tuesday. According to Schön, the appointment should have taken place on November 14th.

At the beginning of November, Schön expressed his interest in taking over 47 branches of the insolvent department store group. He told some German media that these are mainly locations in medium-sized cities, which he believes would be threatened with closure. Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof then confirmed that there should be a personal meeting with the potential investor.

So now a meeting is said to have been canceled. The reasons for this differ between the two parties. Schön accuses Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof of an alleged unwillingness to sign a mutual confidentiality agreement. A spokesman for the insolvency administrator Arndt Geiwitz rejects this. The opposite is the case. “Confidentialities and the associated agreements play an immensely important role in investor talks,” a spokesman for Geiwitz said via email on Tuesday. “If the parties to the discussion disagree about regulations, it is better to regulate the framework conditions again first and then to go into the content-related discussions in consensus.”

negotiations to continue

The insolvency administrator also emphasizes that there should be talks with all interested parties, this also applies expressly to Mr. Schön and Buero.de. The team around insolvency administrator Geiwitz will create a data room and interested parties can submit concrete offers after looking at the data. Only then can negotiations take place.

Buero.de will continue to try to start negotiations and hopes that the negotiations will not fail before they actually begin. “It hasn’t gotten any easier, but we’re not giving up,” says CEO Markus Schön. “Our concept fits, our financial strength is there, so it must not fail because of formal aspects. After all, more than 5,500 jobs are at stake, which we at buero.de would like to secure permanently at the 47 locations.”

According to Galeria, the negotiations should therefore continue. It remains unclear why Schön decided on Tuesday to go public so aggressively after canceling an appointment.