Swiss retailer Migros has sold its department store chain Globus to a joint venture of Austrian Signa and the Central Group from Thailand. The Austrians are building a department store empire throughout Europe, after acquiring (amongst others) Kaufhaus and Karstadt.
Austrian billionaire René Benko has acquired the 48 luxury department stores of the Globus chain through his Signa group, together with the Central group from Thailand. Migros Cooperative Group had put them up for sale months ago, German Handelsblatt writes. The acquisition fee has not been made public, only that the Austrian-Thai joint venture will be equally owned by both parties.
Including Globus, the Signa and Central Group combined are present in five countries on the European continent: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, Signa says in a press release. This is "making both the leading operators and owners of luxury department stores in Europe."
Migros too is satisfied with the deal: chairman of the board Fabrice Zumbrunnen thinks that "Globus’s new owners offer strong commitment and optimal conditions for a successful future for Globus. Signa and Central Group operate some of Europe’s best luxury department stores. I am convinced that Globus will be able to benefit from their extensive know-how and substantial experience in the realignment of premium and luxury department stores."
Signa Holding is a European real estate giant, which amongst others owns German department store chains Karstadt and Kaufhof, two chains Benko merged after acquiring them. The Central Group also has an established presence in Europe, owning nine La Rinascente department stores in Italy, as well as Illum in Copenhagen. KaDeWe, owner of several German department stores in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, is already in the hands of a Signa-Central joint venture.