VIENNA, July 4 Austrian drug store chain Dayli
filed for court-supervised restructuring on Thursday,
acknowledging its concept for neighbourhood stores had failed
and putting nearly 3,500 jobs at risk.
The filing in Linz poses a fresh test of whether Austria's
strong safety net that gives it the European Union's lowest
jobless rate can handle a wave of corporate failures, including
that of Alpine, the country's second-biggest construction group.
Investor Rudolf Haberleitner launched Dayli a year ago from
the Austrian remnants of Germany's failed Schlecker group, but
has now had to throw in the towel.
The company said it had 49 million euros ($63.6 million)
more liabilities than assets based on break-up valuations.
It proposed paying creditors 25 percent of their claims.
Just before the filing, Haberleitner's investment vehicle
transferred its stake in Dayli to a company led by retail sector
veteran Martin Zieger.
"The goal is to secure the financing of the company and to
secure as many jobs and neighbourhood shops as possible in
Austria in cooperation with government and unions," Zieger said
in a statement.
Dayli's woes have made headlines for weeks, unsettling
creditors and suppliers.
Dayli's demise follows the insolvency of Alpine, the unit of
Spanish group FCC that is being broken up and sold off
in pieces after a bold foreign expansion campaign went awry.
($1 = 0.7709 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)