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Signa bankruptcy: Viennese luxury department store Lamarr is sold

Signa bankruptcy: Viennese luxury department store Lamarr is sold
The project was named after Hollywood diva Hedy Lamarr.
Image: OÖN/uru

In the wake of the bankruptcies of Rene Benko’s seriously ailing Signa conglomerate, the sales process for the shell of the “Lamarr” department store on Vienna’s Mariahilfer Straße shopping mile has now begun. The responsible insolvency administrator, Clemens Richter, announced this on Wednesday. The construction site of the multi-purpose building – like other Signa projects under construction – has been at a standstill for several weeks.

  • Read here: Signa Lamarr bankruptcy hits companies in Upper Austria

The Lamarr construction site is only 30 to 40 percent complete. “In the first phase of the insolvency proceedings it was necessary to organize the continued security of the construction site,” said Richter. “The structured sales process that has now been initiated is intended to find the best possible buyer and to clarify the uncertainties that have existed for months regarding the future of the Lamarr project.”

The Thai project partner, the Central Group, could be considered as the buyer of the independent project. At least that was thought possible by observers before the sales process began. It was already announced in February that important Signa Prime properties would be sold – such as Park Hyatt, Goldenes Quartier and the Constitutional Court building in Vienna as well as the Tyrol department store in Innsbruck.

RLB Oberösterreich is also a creditor

The Spar Group had also shown interest in the “Lamarr”: “We tried very hard to get the Hedy Lamarr – i.e. the Leiner on Mariahilfer Strasse back then – before the sale to René Benko, but we didn’t get a chance,” said Spar CEO Hans Reisch. “That would still be an asset that we would be interested in. But nothing is concrete.” A spokeswoman added: The location is interesting, but there are currently no ideas, plans or discussions about it.”

The liabilities amount to 276.5 million euros – of which 260 million are with banks. As reported, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich, Oberbank and Hypo Oberösterreich are also financiers of the project. The leader of the banking consortium is Bank Austria. Bank Austria has registered 295 million euros and RLB OÖ 95 million euros as liens. 16.5 million are accounts payable to suppliers. Almost 80 creditors are affected.

  • More about Signa: Hypo Vorarlberg is at risk of high failure

The prestige project at the prominent Vienna address was named after the Hollywood diva Hedy Lamarr, a native of Austria.

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