Highstreet Makes Bid for German Dep’t Store Karstadt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (GS.N)-led consortium Highstreet has become the third suitor for Germany’s Karstadt, increasing the chances for the insolvent department store chain’s survival.

Highstreet, which owns most of Karstadt’s property, has placed a bid with insolvency administrator Klaus Hubert Goerg, a spokesman for the consortium told Reuters on Friday.

Buyout firm Triton and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen have previously shown interest in Karstadt, which belonged to retail and tourism group Arcandor (AROG.DE) until it filed for insolvency last year.

On Thursday, the insolvency administration said that a decision about the future of Karstadt could take longer than expected due to a lack of suitable offers. 

Also that day, asset management company Goldsmith Capital Partners said it had pulled out of the bidding race for Kaufhof — the department store chain of German retailer Metro (MEOG.DE) — without giving any reasons. 

The district court in Essen, Germany, is due to decide on Monday whether the Karstadt administrator’s insolvency plan is valid and can be implemented. A breakup of Karstadt looms if the plan fails to win approval by the court.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Ludwig Burger)