Karstadt owner Signa poised to take control of Kaufhof

Signa Holding, the Austrian property and retail group that owns German retail chain Karstadt, is reportedly on the verge on inking a deal to take control of the Galeria Kaufhof real estate and operating business.

According to German press reports, businessman René Benko's Signa Holding is about to take a 50.1% interest in the German retail group operating business as well as 50% of the 96-property strong Kaufhof property portfolio held by a subsidiary of Sak's Fifth Avenue owner Hudson's Bay Co (HBC).

Under the planned deal, Signa will receive around €500 mln of rental guarantees by the landlords, German paper Manager Magazin reported.

Canada-based HBC first confirmed in early July that it was in negotiations with Austria’s Signa Holding over a potential joint venture for its European business.

'HBC is in discussions with Signa Holding and has signed a non-binding letter of intent with respect to the exploration of a potential joint venture,' it said in a statement at the time. 'Any potential transaction is subject to further review and analysis by HBC, approval of HBC’s Board of Directors, as well as many conditions, including due diligence and third party consents, that are outside of HBC’s control.'

HBC bought Kaufhof in 2015 for €2.8 bn from German retailer Metro. Earlier this year it rejected Signa’s €3 bn offer for Kaufhof.


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