ESSEN (Dow Jones) – The administrator of the department store group Karstadt has made great progress. (Reuters photo:)
The majority of the communities in which there are, Karstadt retail branches, renounces the business tax and the company so relieved from his obligations.
Only four municipalities have spoken out clearly against the waiver of business tax. Eleven other communities have indeed declared the waiver, but also made political exhortations. This community has written to the receiver again to clarify whether the fulfillment of the exhortations are conditions for the tax waiver.
Administrator Klaus Hubert Görg had on Tuesday to once every letter of the 94 sighted to tax exemption uninvited communities and found these ambiguities. The communities were asked to comment until the end of the week, said spokesman Thomas Schulz.
Stay there in the four rejections may have a condition for the liquidator by the court yet met to approve insolvency.
The other condition, a signed contract is not fulfilled, however. A few days remain. The district court will eat until Monday to decide on the insolvency. Previously, the creditors’ committee has yet to possible alternative offers to buy the vote.
The city of Cologne on Tuesday had decided to renounce claims to be on the business tax. She is so like many of the other 93 municipalities of the petition of the liquidator Klaus Hubert Görg followed and supported his rehabilitation efforts. Now, it still requires a signed sales contract. Candidates for this are the investors Triton and Berggruen Holdings Ltd. They have submitted their bids to the insolvency practitioner already but this accompanied with conditions. The existence of two bids was "no automatic process," said Thomas Schulz, spokesman for the Karstadt insolvency administrator. Both bidders had conversation needs registered with different parties. Berggruen wants in his talks with the owner Consortium High Street in particular a reduction in rent for the stores. Triton, however, calls for further concessions from the workers’ side. This is the United Services Union ver.di but already rejected, and noted that employees take with the adopted redevelopment agreement-reaching restrictions on themselves. For Triton, this is not enough. The financial investor had been found in the past week with the interview results very dissatisfied. According to the union, there is currently no further talks with Triton. Much better the workers are in the supply repealed by Berggruen. The talks at the weekend according to a spokeswoman, went very well, and the concept for the continuation of the department store chain is "very promising". The representatives of Berggruen have earned that expressed that the contribution of employees is sufficient for reorganizing and restructuring agreement would be accepted. Apart from these two bidders, the real estate consortium High Street is considered to be more interested. An offer is there, according to the insolvency administrator or not. The private investor Nicolas Berggruen expects not to the fact that High Street is a bid for Karstadt. "Said High Street is a real estate owner and not a retailer," Berggruen on Tuesday Dow Jones Newswires. The consortium was more interested to get good tenants for his properties. Only if there are not a good tenant leave, have a plan B and High Street would make a bid for the department store chain, forecast Berggruen. To have a reasonable interest Berggruen, the appeal of the department store company. ‘Karstadt is a very good name, "said the investor. The houses would be in very good locations and the revenues are good. Only the rents are too high. In addition, the company lacked a fresh wind. For this will also provide Berggruen and has chosen as a fashion partner for the company BCBG Max Azria. "BCBG knows the market extremely well and knows a lot about merchandising," said Berggruen. Details on the possible cooperation would not even call Berggruen. However, it was a "real partnership" with the BCBG take a certain risk. Was founded in 1989 by designer BCBG Max Azria. Under the brand name stores worldwide will be conducted. The clothing prices are lower than those of large labels. In Germany, BCBG has opened stores last year in Berlin, Munich and Cologne.
-By Kirsten Bienk, Dow Jones Newswires, +49 (0) 40 3574 3116,
kirsten.bienk @ dowjones.com
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