Karstadt Owner Eyes Insolvent Schlecker
The owner of German department store chain Karstadt, Nicolas Berggruen, is interested in buying insolvent drugstore chain Schlecker, a person close to the U.S.-German investor said on Thursday, Reuters reported. A creditor meeting is scheduled for Friday to decide over Schlecker's future and possibly pick a buyer for what's left of the chain, which has closed 2,000 of its outlets. Daily paper Stuttgarter Nachrichten earlier said Berggruen entered the sales process two weeks ago, bidding between 100 million and 500 million euros ($126-$630 million). Unlisted Schlecker filed for insolvency in January, hit by competition from privately held rivals Rossmann and dm and after failing to secure funding to upgrade its stores. Private equity firm Penta Investments made an offer for Schlecker in April, less than a month after buying a 40 percent stake in Polish retailer EM&F. Schlecker administrator Geiwitz said last month he had received five serious offers for the chain. Read more.