Arcandor AG in Liquidation ( until 30 June 2007 Karstadt Quelle AG ) was a commercial and tourism group with headquarters in Essen with the three core business areas of retail, mail order and tourism. The main shareholders are private bank Sal Oppenheim and Madeleine Schickedanz. On 9 June 2009, Arcandor AG filed a petition with the district court eating the opening of insolvency proceedings. The insolvency proceedings were opened on 1 September 2009.


Prior to the restructuring of the Group's sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2004, with over 100,000 employees. The divisions Karstadt and the mail order division primondo contributed around 20 percent of Group sales. The tourist area Thomas Cook scored about 60 percent of group sales.

  • = Employees including trainees at the reporting dates 30 September 2008 and October 31, 2007


The business of Arcandor Group in Germany were stationary retail, mail order and Tourism:

  • Department Stores: The acquisition of Karstadt by Berggruen Holding 1 October 2010, Karstadt is no longer part of the Arcandor Group. Special: 5 × WoM ( World of Music), 115 × Source Technology Center, 3 × kitchens Megastore, 8 × Elegance, 15 × Peter Hahn
  • Primondo with: Universal mail: Quelle GmbH resolution of the liquidation on 19 October 2009
  • Full acquisition of Neckermann by Sun Capital on October 8, 2010. Thus Neckermann is no longer part of the Arcandor Group.
  • Community Hessnatur
  • Premium Bogner Home Shopping
  • Golden Ager ( studio Golden Section, Peter Hahn, Madeleine Mode, Emilia Lay and Afibel )
  • Thomas Cook Group As part of the insolvency of Arcandor still held by Arcandor 2009 Thomas Cook shares were held by the creditor banks to which these shares were pledged against loans, sold to the London Stock Exchange in September 2009.

Thus Thomas Cook is since September 2009 are no longer part of the Arcandor Group


Establishment of the Karstadt Quelle AG ( January 1999-September 1999 )

Karstadt Quelle AG was formed in 1999 through the merger of the department store group, " Karstadt AG " with the mail-order " Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co. " The merger was retroactively from 1 January 1999 for a comparison with some shareholders of Karstadt AG became effective in September 1999. It was a new company with 116,000 employees and 32 billion DM in annual sales.

Crisis and Consolidation ( July 2000-March 2007 )

In July 2000, the first CEO Walter Deuss after criticism of his work from his office. Was succeeded by Wolfgang Urban. Neckermann celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2000.

In January 2001, Karstadt announced to withdraw up to 7000 points. The group bought the textile chain " SinnLeffers ". In November 2001, Christoph Achenbach chief of the subsidiaries " source " and " Neckermann ". From the " C & N Touristic AG " is the " Thomas Cook ", is involved in the Karstadt Quelle together with Lufthansa to 50 percent each. The tourism has thus become an important part of the Group. In October, the establishment of the " Karstadt Coffee GmbH ", a joint venture with Starbucks was.

Between 2002 and 2004, there was a drop in sales and a slump in net income. In 2002, celebrated its 75th anniversary and source are obtained from the source insurance " Karstadt Quelle insurance ". In 2004 started the source nationwide shipping in Russia.

In May 2004, had to CEO Wolfgang Urban - which, as his predecessor, a misguided corporate policy was accused - left the company ( officially for health reasons ). In June 2004, Christoph Achenbach CEO, Thomas Middelhoff has been Chairman of the Board.

Karstadt Quelle struggled with the problems of the entire retail trade, but also home-grown problems. So you held against the market trend in the extensive range. Critics, the device is no longer in time, the program is not customizable. Even if the source is the catalog concept was outdated, the trade mark must be repositioned.

In October 2004 it was announced that there was Karstadt Quelle Group in dramatic financial difficulties. After several missed opportunities for the rehabilitation and restructuring of the group and due to the ongoing retail slump was announced to reduce 8500 points and 77 of the 189 stores (all that have less than 8,000 square feet of retail space) in Germany, a large part of the Group's investments ( retail, shares in Thomas Cook AG and the DSF) to sell in order to save the company.

In November 2004 was published that in the third quarter of 2004, a loss of 1.1 billion euros was incurred. The group then performed the separation of Starbucks. The total loss in 2004 amounted to 1.625 billion euros.

After completion of a Solidarity Pact between employees, management, shareholders and banks, the implementation of the concept is done to restructure and reorganize the Karstadt Quelle Group. This realignment saw the concentration on the core business and before the separation of non-core activities. The separation of Starbucks was one of the first major divestments of the Group's portfolio. The shares in the DSF were issued to EM.TV in January 2005. In August 2005, 75 Karstadt stores ( Karstadt Kompakt GmbH & Co. KG ), 51 SinnLeffers fashion houses as well as the retail chain Runners Point were sold. For Quelle and Neckermann repositioning to new target groups has been initiated. The number of catalogs per year has been increased for both brands.

Since March 2005, a pool of shareholders holding at Madeleine Schickedanz about 50 percent of the shares. In May 2005, Thomas Middelhoff was chief executive after the request of source heiress and a major shareholder Madeleine Schickedanz. At the same time the AG in a pattern process lost a fortune dispute with the heirs of the Wertheim Group, which were represented by the Jewish Claims Conference. The stock fell eight percent, as further losses of 150 million euros in the legal dispute over the land Lenne Triangle were possible at Potsdamer Platz. For 4.5 billion euros Karstadt Quelle sold now 51 percent of its real estate portfolio to Goldman Sachs, by which the AG now holds the real estate fund Whitehall.

2006, the consolidation of the Group were transferred significant import services, the belonging to the Group brands Karstadt, Quelle, and other special mail to the trading firm Li & Fung of Hong Kong, instead of the previous resident in Germany importing houses in the course. A purchase price reduction by ten percent and an import volume of over two billion euros per year is envisaged. In the future, be possible by Li & Fung at Arcandor up to twelve collections a year. In addition, the necessary operating capital for Arcandor will be, according to Arcandor reduce by half a billion euros, as Li & Fung to suppliers possess a longer payment period than it had Arcandor or the former Karstadt Quelle AG to date. The previous Shopping subsidiary Karstadt Quelle International Services AG ( KQIS, St. Gallen) was in 1100 together with staff for 60 million euros to the Li & Fung Limited. sold. Li & Fung acquires particular the screening and quality control of manufactured goods on the spot rewarding and wraps future payments of worldwide import business of Arcandor from. However, the designs for the own brand collections to remain by building its own design center in London and Asia in the hands of Arcandor, as well as the terms and conditions negotiations with individual suppliers.

In May 2006, the company announced plans to search for the group holding a new name, as the importance of the tourism division is not reflected in the old name and should sound more international. After the difficulties of recent years and a period of transition, the Group was in mid-2006 for the first time back in the profit zone. In autumn 2006 the company celebrated its 125th anniversary. End of November 2006 it was announced that Karstadt Quelle wants to part with his mail-order

In 2007 the company created the world's third largest tourism company by its subsidiary Thomas Cook merged with MyTravel plc of the UK.

End of March 2007 was Karstadt Quelle in a press release that after a loss of 316 million euros in 2005, a profit of 346 million euros in sales in 2006 and thus since the crisis in the black were written for the first time.

The era Arcandor (from March 2007)

On 29 March 2007, the Company announced that the holding of the Karstadt Quelle Group will continue to operate under the name Arcandor. The name change was announced by the CEO Middelhoff on the balance sheet press conference in Dusseldorf.

The final confirmation of the new name of the holding company fell to the Annual General Meeting of the Company on 10 May 2007. Moreover, CEO Middelhoff announced that he would leave Karstadt Quelle end of 2008 after a successful restructuring of the company. On 23 April 2008 he extended his contract but until at least end of 2009. However, the new name is now applicable only for the Arcandor Group holding company. The traditional name for the Karstadt department stores, source for the mail and for the Thomas Cook travel business should be preserved.

The meaning of the word art is derived from Arcandor arc, which means bow in different languages ​​( Arcandor AG as the parent company spans an arc over the operating companies ). The derived from the Latin candor means shiny among others, and in the syllable dor included the French gold - both symbols of appreciation.

In May 2007, the TV channel HSE24 was purchased. The trade and tourism company pays around 200 million euros. The agreement was concluded with the owner of the station, InterActiveCorp.

Crisis from 2008

Again in negative headlines of the Arcandor Group came in September 2008: In the midst of the preparations ( purchasing / inventory build-up ) for the holiday season was announced by the credit insurer Euler Hermes to to limit the default guarantees for shipments to Arcandor subsidiaries such as Karstadt, Quelle and Peter Hahn. The reasons were reportedly increased risks due to talks on a refinancing of the retail group, whose net debt amounted at that time to around 1.5 billion euros. A short time later, Arcandor could agree with the banks on refinancing its loans. The temporary cap on guarantees failure was subsequently canceled.

End of September 2008 led Arcandor through a capital increase of ten percent of the share capital, which was fully subscribed by the private bank Sal Oppenheim. In addition, Sal took over from the previous major shareholder Arcandor Madeleine Schickedanz a share package in the amount of 19.5%. As a result of both actions, the participation of the private bank in the retail group increased to approximately 29.5%. Schickedanz held before the capital nor a share of 53,3 %.

On 3 November 2008 the private bank Sal Oppenheim has given the Arcandor AG until April 3, 2009 a loan of 20 million euros.

On 2 December 2008 it was announced that Middelhoff will leave as CEO Karl- Gerhard Eick in the spring of 2009, previously CFO of Deutsche Telekom. Middelhoff received after research by the editorial staff of the mission Tough but Fair ( The first, March 25, 2009) a severance payment in the amount of 2.3 million euros at a time when the stock price was arrived at a historic low point.

After taking over of the chairmanship by Karl- Gerhard Eick mid-February 2009 that spoke of a crisis at Arcandor and proposed a reorganization plan. Arcandor have debts of over 2.6 billion euros, of which 650 million euros alone will be due in June 2009. Arcandor has to pay rental payments of approximately 350 million euros annually. The monthly rent payments amount to approximately 23 million euros, which go to a consortium consisting of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, the real estate division of the Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli and the Generali insurance. Five, later four houses belonging to the Oppenheim -Esch fund of Sal Oppenheim - fund manager Josef Esch, have invested in the Thomas Middelhoff, Madeleine Schickedanz and more millionaires. Owners of 86 houses since 27 March 2006, the real estate company specially created for this High Street which was acquired by Germany 's managing director of Goldman Sachs Alexander Dibelius to 51% by means of the Goldman Sachs Real Estate Company Whitehall. 49 percent remained temporarily at Arcandor. On 19 March 2008 this proportion was also transmitted to the High Street Holding, in which since the German bank, Pirelli RE and the Borletti group are involved as consorts. The term of the lease is 15 years. After planning by Eick luxury department stores KaDeWe in Berlin, Alster in Hamburg and Oberpollinger to be sold in Munich. This state guarantees the federal government ( through KfW banking group ) and the State of North Rhine -Westphalia are no longer excluded.

Arcandor has its major shareholder, the private bank Sal Oppenheim, which holds 28.6 % stake in Arcandor, apparently convinced shortly carry out a capital increase of at least 100 million euros.

On 24 May 2009 turned Stefan Herzberg, Chairman of the Karstadt management, in the Bild newspaper on public policy. He made it clear that a merger with Kaufhof could not avert a looming bankruptcy, provided that the parent company Arcandor not would receive the requested guarantees and loans in the amount of 850 million euros in the next few weeks. Should the guarantee be withheld from the Group to the Arcandor Group go into bankruptcy. About 6,000 employees of Karstadt protested on May 27, 2009 in Berlin for a 650 million euro and 200 million euro guarantee government loans from the KfW bank. A few days later, also of the SPD party chairman Franz Müntefering called for a guarantee. On June 4, 2009 Arcandor requested an emergency aid from the European Union, a day later, an application for state aid in the amount of 437 million euros from the German Federal Government to avert the expected bankruptcy on June 12. Earlier, the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, expressed concerns about the proposed government guarantees in the amount of 650 million euros, as the Group was in trouble even before the financial crisis. The SPD chancellor candidate Frank -Walter Steinmeier had then asked a million guarantee in view, under the condition that the Karstadt 's parent company received a considerable merger with its competitor Metro.

Insolvency in June 2009

On 9 June 2009, Arcandor AG filed a petition with the district court eating the opening of insolvency proceedings, both for the parent company as well as for the subsidiaries Karstadt, primondo and source. Not affected by the insolvency of the tour operator Thomas Cook are, Karstadt Quelle Bank as well as the special mail from primondo and HSE24. Competitor Metro continues to show interest in the Arcandor Group (including the acquisition of 60 of the 90 Karstadt sites ) and announced, " lead all parties involved in the insolvency proceedings " Conversations with wanting, including the owner of the Karstadt stores. But the renovation increased since due to lack of support of the major shareholders of the competent insolvency and restructuring expert Horst Piepenburg has come off.

On 12 June 2009 the prosecutor's office opened an investigation for breach of trust against food Middelhoff, the former CEO of Arcandor AG, in connection with real estate transactions of the Group.

The renovators and Plenipotentiary Horst Piepenburg has put after disputes with the Arcandor major shareholder Oppenheim on 16 July 2009, his mandate back down. After no major investor has been found, the individual business lines are individually from August 15, 2009, but are each sold as a whole as possible .. While the shares in Thomas Cook Group could be sold easily, especially pushed the sale of Quelle GmbH significant problems; The company was eventually broken up and sold the individual source - daughters individually. In the case of Karstadt AG approved on April 12, 2010, the creditors an insolvency plan, which provides for the sale of the Karstadt department stores as a whole and a far-reaching debt forgiveness by the creditor. Currently there are several interested parties. If the insolvency fund expires end of August 2009, Arcandor subsidiaries need to raise the salaries as of September 1 of 2009 itself.

Occupational pensions of over one hundred thousand employees and retirees on the pension fund Karstadt Quelle Mitarbeitertrust eV ( KQMT ) backed up. The pension rights of more than 2 billion euros were saved from insolvency. The Karstadt Quelle Mitarbeitertrust, until October 2012, owner Valovis Bank AG, the former Karstadt Mortgage Bank AG.

The logistics branch of the company, " Karstadt Quelle procurement logistics ", will operate under the name Corporate Service (Germany) GmbH on. The company offers service services for international shopping, and is in high demand for supply chain solutions. Managing Director of CSG are Marc Baeuerle and Stefan Graetz, the headquarters is located in Dusseldorf.


On 23 March 2009, the magazine Manager Magazin published a study conducted by the German Managers' Association. 1000 professionals and managers were asked to assess the well-known employers in Germany. Arcandor 's study concluded that the most unfair employers in Germany.

CEO of Karstadt Quelle AG and Arcandor

  • Walter Deuss ( 1972-2000 ) ( before 1999 Karstadt AG)
  • Wolfgang Urban ( 2000-2004 ), a former manager at Metro
  • Christoph Achenbach (until April 2005)
  • Harald Pinger ( ad interim, April 2005 to 12 May 2005)
  • Thomas Middelhoff (12 May 2005 to 28 February 2009)
  • Karl -Gerhard Eick ( March 1, 2009 to September 1, 2009)


  • 4.52% - Julius Baer Holding AG
  • 24.55% - Madeleine Schickedanz
  • 2.63% - SGG S.A
  • 68.30 % - free float

Early October 2009, sold the private bank Sal Oppenheim shares in three steps and so reduced its stake from 24.9 to 9.69 percent. The proportion of Madeleine Schickedanz afterwards accounting for 21.5 percent.

Pictures of Arcandor