BERLIN, Sept 22 Austrian investor Rene Benko
plans to increase investment and hiring at German retailer
Karstadt's luxury and sports stores, he said in an interview
with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, allaying concerns among
workers that he might be planning cuts.
Vienna-based Signa, Benko's property vehicle, said last
Monday it was taking 75.1 percent stakes in Karstadt's luxury
and sports divisions.
"It's our goal to expand operations over the long term and
to further develop the business locations," Benko was quoted by
the German weekly newspaper as saying.
"We will invest in our stores and expand at the same time
and hire further personnel," Benko said, without providing
Businessman Nicolas Berggruen, who rescued Karstadt from
insolvency in 2010, is retaining the other 24.9 percent stakes
in the units and will keep 100 percent of Karstadt's remaining
83 department stores.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Mark Potter)