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Alfred Gusenbauer: Formerly chancellor, most recently a consultant - now outgoing head of the supervisory board

Photo: Eibner press photo / EXPA / Michael Gruber / Eibner Europa / IMAGO

Alfred Gusenbauer is stepping down as chairman of the supervisory boards of two companies in the insolvent Signa Group.

He is giving up his positions at Signa Prime Selection and Signa Development Selection, the two companies announced.

After a creditors' meeting scheduled for March 18th, there should be a general meeting soon afterwards.

Gusenbauer will then leave the committee and will no longer be available for re-election.

Gusenbauer was Chancellor of Austria from 2007 to the end of 2008.

Most recently he worked as a lobbyist and consultant.

When he left the Signa supervisory board, he informed the companies that they would be entering "a new phase of their development" with the creditors' meeting.

“This new beginning also requires a realignment of the organs in order to be able to move into the future with new confidence,” it said.

The Signa Group, set up by Tyrolean investor René Benko, expanded rapidly during the low interest rate phase.

As interest rates, construction costs and energy prices rose sharply, the real estate and trading group slipped into crisis.

Bad news for Elbtower rescue

By mid-January, Signa Prime's creditors had registered claims of around 464 million euros.

During the insolvency proceedings, at least 30 percent of the outstanding amounts should be repaid.

Sales of the group's luxury properties recently began in Austria.

Among other things, the building of the Austrian Constitutional Court, the luxury hotel Park Hyatt Vienna and the luxury Goldenes Quartier shopping mile in Vienna are to find new owners.

In the wake of the Signa company bankruptcies, the KaDeWe department store chain also had to file for bankruptcy.

The luxury department stores were considered gems - in fact, according to SPIEGEL information, the KaDeWe Group has been in trouble for years.

There is also no good news regarding the rescue plans for the Elbtower, an ambitious construction project by Benko in Hamburg: According to SPIEGEL information, the most important tenant has already terminated the contract, which has an impact on the ambitions of Kühne Holding: logistics billionaire Klaus-Michael Kühne was previously interested expressed interest in participating, but is now refraining.