The furniture chain is resuming from bankruptcy with 1,953 employees (1,770 full-time equivalents) in 17 furniture stores, logistics sites, restaurants and central management. However, the “rebranding” of the former Kika and Liner locations “will not be implemented at this time.”
“Our goal is to stabilize kikaLeiner in the current difficult economic situation and lead it to a good future,” explained Volker Hornsteiner, who has been a member of the management of Leiner & kika Möbelhandels GmbH since July in the areas of sales and human resources. Marketing communications are responsible. “In three years, no one should talk about 2023 and the restructuring process, but only about Kika Liner, which is smaller but better than ever,” the manager added.
According to the information, the furniture retail chain wants to focus more on its own brands in the future, “which already enjoy a good share of sales.” “This share should be expanded further,” Hornsteiner declared.
The redevelopment plan has been approved
In the last week of September, the vast majority of the debt-laden company’s creditors approved the restructuring plan presented. More than 500 creditors will receive a 20 percent share within two years to settle their claims. The liabilities to be taken into account amounted to €131.6 million, of which €49.6 million belonged to the Tax Office.
Creditor protectors were satisfied with Cigna’s restructuring plan and settlement. Brigitte Dostal, head of the corporate insolvency department in Vienna/Lower Austria/Burgenland, said the approval was “the best possible economic decision to give the company the opportunity to achieve a sustainable restructuring under the leadership of the new owner and preserve 1,770 jobs.” In KSV1870, he commented on this process.
Because of the “professional work of insolvency bodies,” there is a “respectable share” of more than 30 percent for creditors and more than half of the jobs have been retained, according to Gerhard Weinhofer, managing director of Creditreform. If the company had been broken up, the total would have been only about 6.6 percent.
More than 1,600 jobs were eliminated
Shortly after real estate group Cigna sold its Kika/Liner operating business to Austrian trading director and investor Hermann Vizer, the furniture chain declared bankruptcy in mid-June. The Graz Supernova group bought the furniture store’s properties.
As part of insolvency proceedings, 23 of its 40 branches were closed at the end of July and more than 1,600 jobs were cut. With approval by creditors on September 25, the insolvency revocation will become legally binding in mid-October 2023 – after the corresponding three-week appeal period.
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