Signa to take full control of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof

Signa is to become the sole owner of Germany’s Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof after acquiring Hudson’s Bay Company’s 49.99% stake.


Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay

The Austrian firm will take full control of the new retail group, formed from a merger between German department store chains Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt last year.

And it will help Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company raise much-needed funds as it continues its bid to survive. The Canadian retailer has also recently announced plans to close all Saks Off 5th stores in the Netherlands and Germany, and chairman Richard Baker is considering taking the company private.

So Signa Group is growing its shareholding from 50.01% of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof to 100%, and will continue to work towards integrating the two brands and bringing them to the digital age.

“This is good news for our company. Almost seven months after the merger of the two department store chains, we can continue the restructuring and integration process – which is demanding and challenging for all employees – with a high degree of reliability on the owners’ side. The decision paths are shorter, simplified – and that is important and as it should be,” said Stephan Fanderl, managing director of Signa Retail and CEO of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof.

The agreement also includes Belgian department store Galeria Inno, which will be now wholly owned by Signa. But this doesn’t mean that Hudson’s Bay Company is completing leaving Europe just yet: it will continue to control Hudson's Bay Netherlands through a wholly owned subsidiary.

Additionally, Signa will also acquire HBC’s shares in their joint European real estate business. Both brands had previously held equal stakes in the portfolio.

Subject to merger control approval and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the autumn.

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