Belgian outlet chain Mega World is bankrupt: after the Court of Appeal decided on Monday morning that the retailer would not be protected against creditors, there was no other way out. 650 jobs will be lost.
The shadowy story of outlet chain Mega World has come to an end, a story that began in February when Dutch entrepreneur Dirk Bron took over the Belgian Blokker stores from Mirage Retail Group. The Commercial Court declared the chain bankrupt at the request of the provisional administrators. The company could no longer be saved because it was over-indebted. Moreover, management failed to present a credible rescue plan.
The provisional administrators have been appointed as trustees. They now have to try to find buyers for the remaining stocks and for the shop fittings, and retailers interested to take over the leases of 122 often well-situated shop premises. For the approximately 650 employees, there is little hope: they will have to look for a new job in difficult times.
Owner Dirk Bron is suspected of forgery of documents, use of false documents, falsification of annual accounts and misuse of corporate assets. Mega World has not paid VAT, social security contributions or taxes since the takeover. The total amount of debt is said to exceed 40 million euro. A criminal investigation is under way: the entrepreneur risks five years’ imprisonment.