René Benko: Dazzling figure

Photo: DPA

Signa founder René Benko has completed a spectacular real estate sale of the Kika/Leiner Group. This is reported by »Der Standard« and the »Kronen-Zeitung« from Austria.

This involves more than 80 plots of land that will be sold to newly founded companies of the Supernova Group. Behind these companies is the entrepreneur Frank Albert. The negotiations lasted months and the purchase price is said to amount to almost 500 million euros. A statement from the parties has not yet been submitted.

Signa is known for acquisitions of department stores in Germany, including Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, and the sale of part of Berlin's luxury shopping center KaDeWe to a Thai retail group. For Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the insolvency proceedings ended on Tuesday. This is linked to the fact that the group's creditors are waiving a large part of the money, according to older reports in the order of 1.3 billion euros.

The Signa Group acquired the Kika/Leiner Group in 2018. At the time, it paid a symbolic euro for the company's operations and 490 million euros for the company's real estate.

Frank Albert was born in the Sauerland region and founded today's Supernova Group in 1994 in Graz, Austria. The real estate company specializes in the business with hardware stores. According to the company, it has 150 employees, earns 135 million euros in annual rent and currently manages 90 projects.

Signa Holding in trouble

For a long time, René Benko was considered the prodigy of the real estate industry with an impressive track record. He secured outstanding projects and built an immense real estate and department store empire. However, this picture has cracked (read more here) since interest rates have risen and construction costs have risen exponentially. The industry is in a downturn, and real estate investment has become less attractive.

Therefore, this degree is of particular importance. It is known that Benko is looking for buyers for various objects. The »Standard« writes of a »bang effect«.