Rene Benko’s Signa Holding joins „Kronen Zeitung“ and „Kurier“. This is done through a 49 percent stake in WAZ Ausland Holding GmbH. The German Funke Group holds 50 percent of the „Krone“ and almost half of the „Kurier“. The deal was announced by mail on Monday.
The cooperation starts „after clearance by the competent antitrust authorities“. Signa then held the equivalent of 24.22 percent of the „courier“ and 24.5 percent of the „crown“. Silence has been agreed on the purchase price. On the part of the Raiffeisen holding one was left on Monday. Raiffeisen will continue to have „the clear majority position of 51 percent“ in the „courier“, nothing will change, said the head of Raiffeisen-Holding Lower Austria-Vienna and „Kurier“ Supervisor Erwin Hameseder of the APA.
Raiffeisen had been briefed on the agreement between Funke and Signa, Hameseder continued. „To my knowledge, it is still the spark that has the sole control even in the Austrian holding company. Under this condition, nothing changes. “
Equally important, according to Hameseder, „is that there is still very good cooperation with the ‚Krone‘ in the Mediaprint.“ Mediaprint is the joint publishing subsidiary of „Kronen Zeitung“ and „Kurier“. There was no comment from Christoph Dichand, as it was called on APA on Monday in the office of the „Crown“ editor-in-chief and editor, who represents the family in the Shareholders Committee.
At the end of October, it was announced that eight years after the death of the legendary „Kronen Zeitung“ founder Hans Dichand, his probate procedure was apparently regulated. At the end of September, Helga Dichand and her three children Michael, Johanna and Christoph took over the 50 percent share of Dichand in the „Krone“ in their own right by way of equal parts. The four heirs each hold 12.5 percent of Austria’s largest newspaper. The search platform Dossier reported on a corresponding entry in the commercial register.
Strife since the 2000s
The Dichands and their German partner Funke were since the early 2000s in dispute over the strategic direction and leadership of the daily newspaper. This took also after the death Hans Dichands in June 2010 no end. Since then, the sheet is led by Christoph Dichand. According to the family, the long duration of the probate procedure may be attributed above all to the extensive art collection of Dichand.
The settlement of the Dichand inheritance became known as part of a crowdfunding campaign by Dossier. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the „Krone“ era Dichand, the research platform wants to launch a print magazine for the first time in April 2019, which deals with the „grandmother of all Austrian tabloids“ in a monothematic way, as it was called at the dossier event.
Benko’s new department store giant in Germany
Signa is known primarily as a real estate company, but also rose in department stores. Just last week, the German competition guard opened the way for a new department store giant in Germany. The German Bundeskartellamt has no objections to a merger of Benkos Karstadt and Kaufhof, as the authority announced on Friday in Bonn. The Canadian Kaufhof owner HBC welcomed the decision – this was an „important step“ in completing the transaction.
Only in summer Signa had acquired the furniture chain kika / Leiner. The former parent company Steinhoff had ridden furniture stores ever deeper into crisis. In mid-June, South African retailer Steinhoff sold its subsidiary kika / Leiner to Signa in an emergency deal. Including the purchase price of € 490 million for the real estate and a restructuring contribution of more than € 100 million, Signa had the deal cost over € 600 million.