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Benko retires as leader of Signa

Benko retires as leader of Signa

Big influence at Signa Holding: Rene Benko is about to leave his own group. As the Kronen Zeitung reported, he handed over his Cigna voting rights to renovation worker Arndt Goetz on Friday. Now Signa can be destroyed.

According to Hans Peter Haselsteiner, Benko agreed “not to enable him.” The Tyrolean investor is therefore about to retire from the position of Chairman of the Advisory Board of Signa Holding. German restructuring expert Arndt Goetz will replace him as general representative, Signa shareholder Haselsteiner told the Ö1-Mittagsjournal newspaper on Friday. “Shareholders have acknowledged this move in a positive and positive way.” Signa could not be reached shortly for comment in response to an APA request.

When asked about the matter, the founder of Strabag commented, “Kika/Liner should be banned again.” This was the desire of investors, which justified the change in management. According to the company’s registry, Hasselsteiner’s private foundation owns 15% of Cigna Holdings. Benko “agreed to the request, but also expressed his own thoughts,” Haselsteiner told the Standard. In particular, it was about “shareholders engaging in the restructuring to the best of their ability, including from a financial perspective.” Since Signa’s corporate structures are complex and shareholder interests are not uniform, “these conditions can only be created within a few days,” says Haselsteiner.

Maybe the pressure was too much

The most important shareholders had previously sent a fiery letter to the billionaire demanding that he hand over leadership of the real estate group. Restructuring expert Arndt Goetz is scheduled to take over as general representative. According to Handelsblatt and Spiegel, the signatories of the letter are Hasselsteiner, Fressnapf founder Torsten Toller, Lindt & Sprüngli Chairman Ernst Tanner, coffee entrepreneur Arthur Ogster and entrepreneur Giulia Dora Kurani Ardoini.

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Banco’s reaction

According to Haselsteiner, Benko once responded favorably to a request to transfer his voting rights to the trust. For his part, Benko now wants to know “whether shareholders would also be willing to contribute to the restructuring of the group with such a far-reaching solution,” Haselsteiner added. The Tyrolean investor has basically agreed to the path and to the shareholders’ demands, “but not yet completely.” Talks are still ongoing, and according to Haselsteiner, a solution could be reached during the coming weekend.

€1.3 billion of debt to be serviced this year

According to ARD’s “Wirtschaft vor Acht” program, Cigna’s short-term debt amounts to 2 billion euros. Citing various media reports, it was said that €1.3 billion of this amount remains to be provided this year. In the ORF “ZiB1” German economist Gerrit Heinemann made a radical comparison between Cigna and a house of cards: “If a building like this depends on interest rates staying low and interest rates exploding as well as construction costs, then the whole thing collapses. It’s now clear that shareholders see that “Their benefits are dwindling and they are trying to save everything. But I think that would be in vain.”

Banco has no operational role on paper, but owns shares in the group directly and indirectly through institutions. The investment structures are complex and there are no consolidated financial statements for the group of companies. According to the company’s registry, the private Haselstein family foundation holds 15 percent of the holding shares, Fressnapf Luxembourg about 4.5 percent, and Swiss director Ernst Tanner about 3 percent — all of whom spoke in the letter in favor of Banco’s withdrawal.

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Gusenbauer, who also serves as chairman of the supervisory boards of Signa Prime Selection and Signa Development Selection, was unable to be reached by phone today when asked by APA. He told Al-Sahafa (Online) about the events surrounding Banco and Jewitz: “Communication is carried out by shareholders and managing directors. “Once I am presented with something that is ready for decision, I will evaluate it in the committees I am on.”