Cologne/Essen, Germany, June 10, 2019 – The SIGNA Group is acquiring all shares of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store group. The company has reached an agreement in this regard with the Hudson’s Bay Company. HBC had previously owned 49.99 percent of the joint operating company.
Dr. Stephan Fanderl, Managing Director of SIGNA Retail and CEO of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, said: “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.”
Last year, SIGNA (50.01 percent) and HBC (49.99 percent) had merged the two department store chains under the operative leadership of SIGNA. Since then, the management team led by Stephan Fanderl has initiated a comprehensive integration process. The goal is to make the department stores future-proof and to create one of the leading omnichannel providers in the digital age.
The agreement also states that the Belgian department store operator Galeria Inno will be wholly owned by SIGNA. Hudson’s Bay Netherlands on the other hand will once again be fully owned by Hudson’s Bay Company.
As a part of the agreement, SIGNA will also acquire all shares of the jointly owned European real estate portfolio from HBC. To date, the two companies had each owned 50 percent of the portfolio.
The relevant contracts between HBC and SIGNA have already been signed. The transaction is expected to close by the autumn. The closing of the transaction is subject to merger control approval and customary closing conditions
The SIGNA Group, founded by entrepreneur René Benko in 1999, is a privately owned industrial holding company active in the real estate, retail and media sectors. With property assets in excess of 14 billion Euro and an additional development volume of around 8.5 billion Euro, the company is one of the most significant real estate investors in Europe. With approx. 45,000 employees and a turnover of over 7.5 billion Euro – approx. 750 million Euro in the online sector alone – the company operates reputable commercial enterprises.
The SIGNA Real Estate Group is seen as one of the largest real estate investors in major European cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. It owns numerous landmark buildings in top locations, including the KaDeWe and the UPPER WEST Tower in Berlin, the Golden Quarter with the Park Hyatt Hotel in Vienna, the Old Academy in Munich, the Alsterhaus in Hamburg and the Chrysler Building in New York.
The SIGNA Retail Group unites the five independent trading platforms SIGNA Premium, SIGNA Department Store Group, SIGNA Home & Lifestyle, SIGNA Food & Restaurants as well as SIGNA Sports United, the leading sports e-commerce platform on the European continent, under one umbrella.
Each individual area has made a significant contribution to the strong European growth of the SIGNA Retail Group in recent years. With around 300 locations in the best inner-city locations and over 100 online shops in around 20 countries, SIGNA Retail is one of Europe’s leading trading platforms.