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Next Monday is an important day for Signa

Next Monday is an important day for Signa
The city posh district “Golden Quarter” in downtown Vienna was developed by Signa Holding.
Image: APA/HERBERT NEUBAUER

The audit and reporting meeting of the insolvent company Signa Prime is scheduled for next Monday, February 26th, at 1 p.m. at the Vienna Commercial Court. Another one for Signa’s second core company, Signa Development, will take place from 3 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting of creditors is for the insolvency administrators to report on the registered and disputed claims and to provide information about further action. This provides an outlook for the important meeting in March, at which it will be decided whether the restructuring plan proposals will hold, according to creditor protectors.

“After the audit meeting, a first concrete assessment of the extent of the liabilities that actually need to be taken into account will be possible,” says Karl-Heinz Götze from the Kreditschutzverband 1870 (KSV1870). Signa Prime, in which the group’s luxury properties are bundled, stated liabilities of 4.3 billion euros in its insolvency application, and the real estate development company Signa Development stated 1.3 billion euros. This makes it the largest bankruptcy in the history of the Republic of Austria.

Sell ​​family silver

Real estate showpieces from the Signa empire such as the “Golden Quarter” are already being silver-plated. The luxury shopping district developed and financed by the Signa Group with the attached luxury hotel Park Hyatt extends over around 42,000 square meters on historic grounds in downtown Vienna in the areas of Graben, Tuchlauben and Am Hof. The sale of buildings such as the Constitutional Court and the Tyrol department store in Innsbruck could make the renovation plan a success. The two real estate companies that became insolvent at the end of December are offering their creditors a quota of 30 percent within two years.

Will there be more supervisory board members?

In addition to the financing plan, the reorganization of the Supervisory Board is likely to be discussed at the reporting meeting on Monday. Former Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer announced his withdrawal from the supervisory board on Thursday, as reported. According to “profil”, other prominent supervisory board members are set to leave: ex-Vice Chancellor Susanne Riess-Hahn, ex-RBI boss Karl Sevelda and ex-Bank Austria general director Karl Sonntag are likely to withdraw, according to the magazine.

“Nothing is normal in the Signa matter,” says Andrea Schermann from AKV Europa. While the creditor protectors usually receive a report in advance including a statement from the restructuring administrators, this is not the case here given the extent of the Signa bankruptcy. Schermann is expecting signals from Prime restructuring manager Norbert Abel and Development restructuring manager Andrea Fruhstorfer on Monday as to whether the renovation is going according to plan or not. However, “nobody will probably lean out of the window”.

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