WEIL advises NRDC on acquisition of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof out of insolvency

10. April 2024

Frank­furt — The inter­na­tio­nal law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advi­ses NRDC Equity Manage­ment Company on the acqui­si­tion of Gale­ria Karstadt Kauf­hof out of insol­vency. Toge­ther with entre­pre­neu­rial part­ner Bernd Beetz, NRDC has won the bidding process for the insol­vent depart­ment store chain Gale­ria Karstadt Kauf­hof and concluded the inves­tor agree­ment with the insol­vency admi­nis­tra­tor Stefan Denkhaus.

NRDC is the invest­ment company of Cana­dian entre­pre­neur Richard Baker. Baker has made a name for itself in the global fashion indus­try through a series of shrewd acqui­si­ti­ons. He owns a majo­rity stake in the depart­ment store company Hudson Bay Company (HBC). Among other things, HBC owns the Ameri­can luxury depart­ment store chain Saks Fifth Avenue. The consor­tium that wants to take over Gale­ria also includes former Kauf­hof Super­vi­sory Board Chair­man Bernd Beetz.

Gale­ria Karstadt Kauf­hof is the largest depart­ment store chain in Germany and the second largest depart­ment store group in Europe and filed for insol­vency in Janu­ary 2024 for the third time in the last four years follo­wing the bank­ruptcy of its parent company Signa. Gale­ria opera­tes 92 depart­ment stores in Germany and employs more than 15,000 people, accor­ding to its own figures.

The take­over by NRDC and Bernd Beetz follows a compe­ti­tive bidding process, which the insol­vency admi­nis­tra­tor began shortly after the insol­vency appli­ca­tion and ended shortly after the opening of insol­vency procee­dings with the award of the contract to NRDC and Bernd Beetz. The trans­fer of Gale­ria Karstadt Kauf­hof will take place by way of an insol­vency plan and the closing of the tran­sac­tion is plan­ned for the summer. — Baker was alre­ady the majo­rity owner of Gale­ria Kauf­hof from 2015 to 2019. The company was subse­quently sold to the Austrian René Benko.

The inter­na­tio­nal WEIL team was led by part­ners Robert Rizzo (Corpo­rate, NY), Britta Grauke (Restruc­tu­ring, Frank­furt) and Dr. Chris­tian Tapp­ei­ner (Corpo­rate, Frank­furt) and compri­sed Part­ner Tobias Geer­ling (Tax, Munich), Coun­sel Dr. Matthias Eiden (Restruc­tu­ring, Frank­furt), Coun­sel Thomas Zimmer­mann (Finance, Munich), Coun­sel Dr. Konstan­tin Hoppe (Real Estate / IP/IT, Munich), as well as asso­cia­tes Melina Husic (Restruc­tu­ring, Frank­furt), Hans-Chris­­tian Mick (Finance, Frank­furt), Silvia Lengauer (Finance, Munich), Nata­scha Spaeth, Sebas­tian Klein, Jannik Dutt­lin­ger, Alex­an­der Roth­stein (all Corpo­rate, Frank­furt), Caro­lin Vetter­mann (Tax Law, Munich), Alex­an­der Reich, Daniel Reich (both Tax Law, Frank­furt), Laura Kirch­ber­ger (Real Estate, Munich), Benja­min Köpple (Employ­ment Law, Munich), Clarissa Tran (Liti­ga­tion, Frank­furt), David Fier (IP/IT, Munich).

About Weil

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is an inter­na­tio­nal law firm with more than 1,100 lawy­ers. Weil has offices in New York, Boston, Brussels, Dallas, Frank­furt, Hong Kong, Hous­ton, London, Miami, Munich, Paris, Shang­hai, Washing­ton, D.C. and Sili­con Valley. In Germany, the firm has two offices and around 60 lawyers/tax advi­sors in Frank­furt and Munich. The focus here is on provi­ding specia­li­zed advice to natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal clients on cross-border private equity and M&A tran­sac­tions, high-profile liti­ga­tion manda­tes, complex restruc­tu­rings and finan­cings as well as tax structuring.

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