Bâtiself safe despite shareholder difficulties
(AFP/JB) Luxembourg DIY store Bâtiself is thought to be safe after majority shareholder Praktiker announced it had failed to find sufficient financing to continue operating.
The German chain, which owns a 62 percent stake in the Luxembourg brand, is to consider filing for insolvency, potentially putting 18,000 jobs at risk.
Bâtiself Managing Director Raimund Müller said that the three Luxembourg DIY stores, which employ around 200 staff, will not be affected by the change.
"We are debt-free and profitable," he told the Luxemburger Wort on Thursday, explaining that negotiations for the sale of Praktiker's shares are still ongoing.
Praktiker said in a statement that negotiations on additional finance failed on July 10 because "certain creditor groups did not provide approval for such financing."
The financing had become necessary after the heavily indebted group failed to complete its planned sale of a stake in Luxembourg-based Bâtiself.
This meant that "the expected proceeds from the sale could not be realised. These proceeds had been firmly included in the financing concept from 2012," the statement said.
"The management board will now carry out a review ... to determine the units for which insolvency applications will have to be filed and will then publish the results of this review as soon as possible."
On the Frankfurt stock exchange, Praktiker shares nosedived by 69 percent to 0.11 euros.
Bâtiself operates three hardware stores in the Grand Duchy: in Strassen, Foetz and Ingeldorf. The first store was opened in Foetz in 1978. 1988 was the second in Strassen. The Bâtiself in Ingeldorf has been there since 1996.