The insolvent holding company of the Signa real estate and trading group must implement strict austerity measures and forego costly expenses.
The holding company is separating itself from a large part of its 43 employees, in particular the staff for flights, security, events, business initiations and hunts, the restructuring administrator Christof Stapf announced in Vienna on Tuesday. In some business circles in Austria, hunting serves to maintain contact between decision-makers and business partners.
Renovators cancel hunts, flights and events
“The relevant part of the holding’s operation caused considerable ongoing costs,” said Stapf, who was appointed by the Vienna Commercial Court last week. According to Stapf, assets of the holding company that are not absolutely necessary will be utilized immediately.
The Signa Group, founded by Austrian billionaire René Benko, has faltered in recent months as interest rates, energy prices and construction costs have risen. So far, in addition to the holding company, the online sports retail division and a real estate management unit have also filed for bankruptcy in Germany. Signa Retail Selection AG, based in Switzerland, has announced that it will wind up the company in an orderly manner. The Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store group is also assigned to Signa Retail and is therefore likely to be up for sale.
The future of the most important Signa companies, Signa Prime and Signa Development, remains open. Last week, supervisory boards appointed an experienced Austrian restructuring expert as an additional board member in both companies. The heavily indebted Signa Prime’s investments include the Berlin luxury department store KaDeWe and the currently dormant construction site of the 254 meter high Elbtower in Hamburg. (dpa)