Karstadt Administrator Still in Sale Talks

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) – The insolvency administrator of Karstadt is still in talks with potential investors about a sale of the venerable German department store chain, he said on Monday at a meeting of Karstadt creditors.

The creditors are meeting for the second time to vote on the department store chain’s insolvency plan, kicking off the final stage of the company’s sale.

Insolvency administrator Klaus-Hubert Goerg wants to sell the 120 Karstadt stores by the end of April. He plans to sell the company as a whole — a prerequisite for concessions from real estate owners and employees.

He has said before that there were six potential investors. He added on Monday that he was still talking to investors.

Metro (MEOG.DE), the owner of local rival Kaufhof, has said it would be interested in some of Karstadt’s stores to beef up its own business, which it is planning to sell this year.

Asked about whether he was also in talks with Metro, the insolvency administrator said he would have to wait and see what would happen if Karstadt had to be divided up after all.

Karstadt was part of the German retail group Arcandor (AROG.DE), which filed for insolvency in June last year after running into refinancing difficulties and failing to secure state aid. 

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)