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Karstadt to extend deadline for offers

A DECISION about the future of insolvent German department store chain Karstadt could take longer than expected due to a lack of suitable offers, the insolvency administration said yesterday.

“The creditors committee so far has not seen an offer that is ready for a decision,” a spokesman for insolvency administrator Klaus Hubert Goerg said.

This makes it less likely that the committee will decide on a buyer on Friday as initially planned because it first has to assess the various offers, which may take longer than Friday.

European buyout firm Triton and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen are still in the race to acquire the department store chain, that belonged to retail and tourism group Arcandor until it filed for insolvency last year.

The Highstreet consortium, which owns most of Karstadt’s property and is led by Goldman Sachs, is also planning to launch a bid.

The district court in Essen, Germany, is due to decide on Monday whether the administrator’s insolvency plan is valid and can be implemented. A breakup of Karstadt looms if the plan fails to win approval by the court. This would play into the hands of retailer Metro, which says it would only be interested in selected Karstadt stores to beef up its own department store chain Kaufhof.