Central Group acquires Berlin’s iconic KaDeWe

Central Group has acquired the iconic KaDeWe in Berlin. The announcement of the agreement for the complete acquisition of the building confirms the ambitions of the Thai retailer. This transaction is in line with its stated aim of becoming the sole owner of the group, which includes other prestigious department stores.


Central Group has taken a major step forward in its bid to acquire the KaDeWe Group. The Thai retailer announced on Friday April 12 that it had “reached an agreement to acquire 100%” of the KaDeWe building, located in the heart of Berlin.


This transaction is part of its ambitions to become the exclusive owner of the KaDeWe Group, which also includes Alsterhaus in Hamburg and Oberpollinger in Munich.


Central Group already held a 50.1% majority stake in the luxury department store. However, Signa subsidiary Prime Selection still owned the 60,000 square-meter building. The Signa holding company held the remaining 49.9% of Kadewe.


Central Group’s strategy is to restructure the KaDeWe Group’s operating company. “The acquisition of the KaDeWe building is the first important step for us in our attempt to restore and restructure the KaDeWe Group operating company into a sustainable and financially viable business,” said Vittorio Radice, member of the Board of Directors of Central Group Europe.


Discussions are underway between Central Group and Signa to finalize the transaction and transfer KaDeWe’s operational management to Central Group.


Although the exact amount of the acquisition has not been disclosed by the various parties involved, the German business daily Handelsblatt estimates the purchase price for the building at around €1 billion.


Insolvency of the Signa Group


Signa, the real estate empire founded by tycoon René Benko, was one of the main victims of the European real estate crisis, with creditors filing claims worth billions of euros. The group’s holding company, at the center of a network of hundreds of businesses, declared itself insolvent last September, as did its two main units, Signa Prime and Signa Development.


Central Group, which owns a large number of shopping malls in Thailand, as well as La Rinascente in Italy, has also announced the acquisition of the British department store chain Selfridges. Here too, the Thai group was previously co-owner with Signa. Last November, the Thai conglomerate also reaffirmed its financial support for Globus, the Swiss department store co-owned by Signa. At a time when the holding company was considering filing for bankruptcy, Central Group, as co-shareholder, undertook to provide the necessary assistance to ensure the continuity of Globus’ operations.



Furthermore, on April 9, the German media announced that American businessman Richard Baker, a specialist in real estate and retail, had acquired the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store chain from Signa.


Collateral damage


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Featured photo : © Shutterstock

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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