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November 13, 2018

Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt merger approved

Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and retail estate business Signa Holding have received the go-ahead to merge their respective HBC Europe and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH’s retail operations.

By Beth Wright

Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and retail estate business Signa Holding have received the go-ahead to merge their respective HBC Europe and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH’s retail operations.

In a statement yesterday (13 November), the firms said they have received all third party consents to enable the previously announced combination and the formation of the real estate joint venture. This clears the way for the closing of the intended transactions, which are expected to be completed at the end of November.

The merger, which was announced in September, is part of a bid to compete more effectively against e-commerce players.

It is understood that the new entity will be 49.99% owned by Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), while retail estate business Signa Holding, the owner of Karstadt, will own the remainder.

The agreement also includes the sale of 50% of the European real estate portfolio of HBC to Signa as approved by the real estate lending syndicate, led by Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, which holds the loan on certain HBC Europe real estate.

In a joint statement, HBC and Signa said they welcome the Federal Cartel Office’s decision to unconditionally approve the merger of HBC Europe and Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH’s retail operations and the formation of the real estate joint venture.

Both companies say they are working towards finalising the transaction at the end of the month, subject to satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, while remaining focused on delivering a “strong” holiday season.

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