Due to an existing relationship, Praktiker approached us to provide a full inventory and asset review to help secure finance. Founded in 1978, it was the third largest home improvement retailer by market share in Germany, with more than 250 stores. Having decided to replace the Praktiker fascia with Max Bahr, the well-known German DIY brand acquired by Praktiker in 2006, the company began to explore refinancing its existing facilities. Unfortunately the refinance attempt was unsuccessful as the company failed to deliver certain financial milestones, and Praktiker filed for insolvency in July 2013.
Our relationship with the brand, coupled with our extensive experience and knowledge of the retail sector, positioned us to execute a fast and efficient asset realisation that would optimise returns. Working alongside Praktiker administrator Christopher Seagon, we embarked on an accelerated M&A process and three phase programme to close the first 38 poorest performing stores, followed by 118 Praktiker branded stores and finally the 42 recently rebranded Max Bahr stores, which had been the most profitable and viable.
During this process, the Max Bahr brand filed for preliminary insolvency and appointed administrator Dr Jens-Soren Schroder in July 2013. We were immediately appointed by the administrator to undertake a valuation of inventory whilst the store portfolio was reviewed and an accelerated M&A process initiated. We were then tasked to close five loss-making
stores and provide a financially underwritten store closure proposal in case the planned sale for the remaining 73 stores fell through, which it later did.
We managed the two projects in tandem, mobilising a team of more than 200 experts and continuing to provide flexibility throughout the M&A process. We proposed that the sale of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) take place alongside the store closures, providing additional time to sell assets. The Administrators’ financial outcome was guaranteed and underwritten, to the sum of millions of euros and was further enhanced by us purchasing tens of millions of augmented stock to sell within stores – all at our own risk.