Central Group acquire three premium department stores in Germany

09 Jun 2015,   in CORPORATE NEWS
0131. 001

Bangkok, June 9, 2015: Central Group has taken further steps in its goal to create a unique collection of historic luxury department stores in Europe by entering into an agreement to acquire three premium department stores in Germany: The KaDeWe, Oberpollinger, and Alsterhaus. Central Group is partnering with SIGNA, a leading retail and real estate company in Europe, by acquiring a 50.1% stake in The KaDeWe Group, a company which owns the three aforementioned department stores, from SIGNA who will maintain its remaining 49.9% stake.

Located in the heart of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, each of the three department stores has more than 100 years of history and they are among the most established and well recognized premium and luxury department stores in Germany.

The KaDeWe was opened in 1907 and it is the biggest department store in Germany and is one of the largest in Europe with over 60,000 square meters of selling space. The store is located in the luxury shopping area of Berlin in Tauentzienstrasse.

Oberpollinger is located on Neuhauser Strasse, the oldest and the most popular shopping street in Munich and it was opened in 1905 and is known as the most famous luxury department store in Munich.

Alsterhaus was opened in 1897 and is located on the glorious Jungfernstieg boulevard in Hamburg, facing the picturesque Binnenalster Lake. The department store has 5 levels and is decorated with tasteful interior and luxury assortment.

Tos Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Central Group, commented on the transaction, “we are extremely pleased to join forces with SIGNA, who is a retail and real estate expert. This will help to strengthen our presence in Europe. As a Thai company, we are very proud to have the opportunity to acquire and develop three of the best department stores in Germany.

With regards to our future plan, Central Group will manage and establish strategies for
The KaDeWe Group. We expect to use our retail experience to strengthen each department store, while preserving the history and the heritage of the three department stores.

This acquisition will serve as a significant addition to Central Group’s continuing expansion in Europe. Today, La Rianscente and Illum together enjoy annual sales of approximately
EUR 600 million, which is expected to increase to EUR 1.2 billion through the addition of the three department stores in Germany. In order to become one of the global leaders in premium and luxury department stores, Central Group will continue to acquire additional department stores with strong potential in important European cities.”

The partnership with SIGNA strengthens Central Group’s portfolio in the European market. Since 2013 SIGNA has comprised two independent core businesses, SIGNA Real Estate and SIGNA Retail.  SIGNA Real Estate employs around 150 people who manage real estate assets worth some EUR 6 billion. SIGNA Retail is responsible for all of the group’s retail operations. It owns and manages three businesses – Karstadt Warenhaus, Karstadt Sports, and The KaDeWe Group. The three companies are retail leaders of Germany, with more than 100 branches in total, employing more than 20,000 people and generating more than EUR 3 billion annually.

The partnership with SIGNA in The KaDeWe Group fits perfectly with Central Group’s strategy of developing historic retail icons into modern centers of commerce and community for locals and tourists. The current management of The KaDeWe Group has already started to implement this strategy to reposition the company by joining forces with Central Group.

Vittorio Radice, Vice-Chairman of La Rinascente and Illum commented “the 3 stores of The KaDeWe Group are real jewels. They will benefit tremendously from the synergy effect and the exchange of knowhow from this strategic partnership.  We are focused on running a collection of unique iconic stores and are prepared for necessary investments to strengthen their long standing reputation.”

Central Group has been present in Europe since 2011 when it acquired the Italian department store group La Rinascente with the intention to develop a European collection of historic luxury department stores. Since then, it has continued the repositioning of the La Rinascente flagship store in Milan and in the other 10 stores around Italy, and there is a plan to introduce a new branch in Rome in February 2017.

In 2013, it also acquired Illum, the oldest department store in Denmark and started a 5-year repositioning program. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2018.

The acquisition of The KaDeWe Group will propel Central Group to become the leader of premium and luxury department stores in Europe and Asia, with seven extravagant iconic flagship stores (La Rinascente Milan, La Rinascente Rome, Illum Copenhagen, The KaDeWe Berlin, Oberpollinger Munich, Alsterhaus Hamburg, Central Chidlom, and Central Embassy in Bangkok). Each of the seven department stores is a landmark of the city where it is located in.