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Central Group takes over business operations of the KaDeWe Group



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Dior display at KaDeWe Berlin. Credits: Kristen Pelou / Dior / KaDeWe

The business operations of the luxury German department stores KaDeWe (Berlin), Oberpollinger (Munich) and Alsterhaus (Hamburg) are being sold to the Thai Central Group. According to information from the German Press Agency, a corresponding contract with the KaDeWe Group was signed on Friday. A purchase price was not initially disclosed.

According to the information, the contract is still subject to antitrust issues, among other things. In addition, Central is now in talks with the landlords of the buildings in Munich and Hamburg about the rental conditions. According to the Senate, Central took over the KaDeWe building in Berlin itself in April for one billion euros.

Thailand's richest family takes over KaDeWe

Even before the complete takeover of the operational business, Central held 50.1 percent of the KaDeWe Group. 49.9 percent belonged to the collapsed Signa group of companies owned by Austrian investor René Benko. In January, the group filed for insolvency under self-administration. However, business operations in the department stores continue.

The Central Group is a conglomerate owned by the Chirathivat family, one of the richest families in Thailand. Forbes estimated their wealth at $12.4 billion (€11.4 billion) in 2023. The Bangkok-based group operates supermarkets, department store chains, hotels and restaurants. In addition to its shares in department stores in Germany, the Central Group has interests abroad in La Rinascente in Italy, Selfridges in Great Britain and Globus in Switzerland, among others.

The KaDeWe ("Department Store of the West"), which opened in 1907, became a symbol of consumption and purchasing power in the post-war period. It has 60,000 square meters of shopping space in the middle of the capital. In addition to lovers of luxury goods, thousands of tourists also make their way to the renowned building every day. (DPA)

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