Ailing hardware chain bauMax to be sold
The ailing hardware chain bauMax, with about 4000 workers in Austria, is due to be sold by its owner, Karlheinz Essl, his company announced on Wednesday.
Essl had given the power of attorney to sell his chain, to waive claims and to use the money obtained by the sale of his famous art collection for his enterprise at the end of April. The "Essl Collection" includes around 7000 paintings worth an estimated €86 million (US$117 million).
In 2012, the huge chain slipped far into the red due to its east European subsidiaries, which also employ thousands of people. bauMax made net losses of €126 million, after minus €47.2 million the year before.
In 2013 it made net losses of €189 million and the equity capital turned €70.7 million negative. The company said that its bank debts were at €638 million.
bauMax has 66 shops in Austria, 24 in the Czech Republic, 14 in Slovakia, 15 in Hungary, four in Slovenia, seven in Croatia, eight in Bulgaria and seven in Turkey. In total, the company employs around 8900 people. On Tuesday bauMax announced that it had sold its 15 shops in Romania.