A German group has turned its attention to the outlets of the recently declared bankrupt retailer Mega World. Negotiations with the trustees are starting today.
According to the liquidator Thierry Lammar, the potential buyer is a major German player "who wants to take advantage of this opportunity to expand on the Belgian market." Kanaal Z, a Belgian channel reports this. The company would be interested in all of Mega World's 119 premises.
Yet it is far from certain that they will all end up at one party. Three-quarters of the leases are with Piocheur, another holding company of Mega World owner Dirk Bron. Piocheur is also in bad shape. At the end of this month, a judge will decide on bankruptcy, writes Belgian newspaper De Standaard. The prospective buyer could wait for that ruling, but the company is, of course, free to start negotiations with Piocheur right now.
However, the trustees want to leave their options open. Potential buyers can already visit 63 store premises. That way, they can avoid further increases in rental costs. In the meantime, many property owners have already taken the initiative of terminating the leases themselves. So if the German group wants all the branches, they will have to pass through them as well.
The trustees don't want to release any information on the identity of the prospective buyer. Jorg Snoeck, founder of RetailDetail takes a guess and thinks it might be KiK. "It is a major player with European ambitions. They have been active in the Netherlands since 2013, but aren't active in Belgium yet."
KiK was founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Stefan Heinig and retail group Tengelmann. The chain has around 3500 stores in 11 European countries. The name is an acronym and stands for "Kunde ist König" (customer is king).