Baumarkt MAX BAHR GmbH & Co. KG
The drama surrounding the insolvent German DIY chain Max Bahr reached a deafening finale last week, when it appeared the 78-store chain would be saved by a takeover offer from the Saarland-based supermarket chain Globus, which had been sniffing around the chain since its insolvency, caused by the insolvency of parent company Praktiker, in July of this year.
At the last minute however, negotiations between the insolvency administrator for Moor Park, the owner of 66 of the retail properties, and potential suitor Globus collapsed. According to Berthold Brinkmann, spokesman for the administrators, Globus suddenly reverted to a tactic of making impossible demands on the level of rental income from the stores, should it step in as white knight. Disagreement was said to centre on Globus changing the terms from buying to leasing the physical assets. Globus, in a statement, denied any responsibility for the failed talks.
Similar talks with building materials group Hellweg had also ended abruptly early in November over – apparently - the same stumbling blocks. Moor Park and its financiers Royal Bank of Scotland felt obliged to reject the Globus offer, and suddenly all bets were off.
As it stands now, the outcome of this long-running saga means that the Max Bahr chain is no more, and the name will now disappear from the market. Swiss DIY chain store rival Bauhaus AG has agreed to take over 24 of the stores, and about 1,300 of Max Bahr’s 3,600 employees. They will sell off current stock, re-brand themselves as Bauhaus, and re-launch next year.
The remaining stores will now be sold off individually. For the staff, the hope is that the new owners are also in the DIY business, and that many of them could be re-hired.