Penta Bids For Insolvent Drugstore Chain Schlecker

Private equity firm Penta Investments has made an offer for German insolvent drug store chain Schlecker, less than a month after buying a 40 percent stake in Polish retailer EM&F, Reuters reported. "We made a non-binding offer on Friday last week," a spokesman for Penta told Reuters on Friday, confirming a report in German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. He declined to provide details of the offer. Unlisted Schlecker, which competes with privately held peers Rossmann and dm, filed for insolvency in January after struggling to secure funds against a gloomy economic backdrop. Administrator Arndt Geiwitz said on Wednesday he had received five serious offers for the chain, though it is currently not clear who is on his short list. He aims to pick an investor by the end of May. Duesseldorf-based financial investor Droege said this week it had thrown its hat in the ring, but daily paper Stuttgarter Nachrichten said Droege had dropped out of the race. Geiwitz declined to comment on that report, which also said there were no German bidders on the list. Penta Investments, a Czech-Slovak firm with assets of 3.4 billion euros ($4.44 billion), so far has only one holding in Germany, pet food maker Gimborn, its website shows. Read more.