FRANKFURT Aug 9 Insolvency administrators of
German DIY chain Praktiker said just under a third of its stores
will close by end-October because there is little chance of
finding a buyer for the loss-making outlets.
The administrators last week appointed advisers at Macquarie
to help in the hunt for investors and said initial
talks led them to believe there was little interest in 51
"These stores have been making losses for a long time and
are hindering the other stores," insolvency administrator
Christopher Seagon said in a statement on Friday.
Praktiker filed for insolvency last month after talks with
creditors failed, triggering fears of heavy job losses.
Praktiker's administrators earlier this week secured
financing to ensure products could be delivered to the stores
and operations could continue while they examine options and
potential investors for the group.
Closing down sales at the 51 stores slated for closure will
start next week. The stores planned for closure employ 1,500
permanent staff plus 1,000 part-time staff.
Seagon said he hoped investors from other types of retailer
could buy up the empty stores and take on any employees, adding
that some interest had already been shown.
Along with its namesake blue and yellow stores, a familiar
sight in German out-of-town shopping centres, Praktiker operates
the Max Bahr brand, which has also filed for insolvency.
Of the 300 stores in the insolvency process, 168 are
Praktiker stores, 78 are Max Bahr stores and a further 54 are
Praktiker-branded shops that have recently been converted to the
Max Bahr signage.
The administrators will examine operations at the other
stores. Interest has already been received from investors
looking at parts or all of the Max Bahr and Praktiker groups,
Seagon said. Firm bids are due in by September.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan, Editing by Thomas Atkins)