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Benco's private enterprise is insolvent – Rene Benco is in free fall

Benco's private enterprise is insolvent – Rene Benco is in free fall

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Bankruptcies continue in René Benco's empire. Now the private Benko family foundation in Innsbruck has filed for bankruptcy.

INNSBRUCK – After René Benco himself declared bankruptcy, his own foundation is now following suit. On Thursday (March 28), the private Benko family foundation in Innsbruck filed for bankruptcy, Austrian media reported. The foundation's assets also include investments in bankrupt Signa Holding, which went bankrupt in November 2023.

Nearly a month ago, the real estate mogul was forced to declare bankruptcy himself as a private entrepreneur. Tyrolean investor Benko has built an empire of several prestigious properties over the years and was long considered one of the richest Austrians. He became known in Germany primarily through the purchase of KaDeWe properties.

250 million euros of assets in Banco Foundation

The Benko Family Private Foundation is one of three foundations into which Rene Benko is said to have placed his assets. Like Austrian Al-Taj newspaper It stated that the assets of the now insolvent institution amounted to 250 million euros. There is a suspicion that money from this foundation flowed to Signa Holding as a financial injection in 2023.

Signa's bankruptcy is the largest in Austria's history. There are growing indications that Rene Benko will take responsibility sooner or later. In addition to Signa Holding, Signa Development and Signa Prime were also forced to declare bankruptcy. Signa Prime's portfolio includes, among others, the Hamburg Elbtower project, the Berlin KaDeWe department store and a number of properties belonging to the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store chain. All of these companies have now been forced to file for bankruptcy.

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Rene Benko is the founder of the bankrupt Signa Group. © Helmut Foehringer/APA/dpa

But things are likely to continue for Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: there should be clarity by April, and the insolvency administrator will likely negotiate with two potential interested parties who want to buy the department store chain. Galleria pointed to the high rent payments demanded by Cigna as a reason for the imbalance. The insolvent Benko group also owns approximately 20 department store properties.