The co-owners of Signa want lead owner Benko to leave and hand over the entire reins to renovator Arndt Geiwitz.
Vienna. It appears that the co-owners of Signa Holding are losing patience. They believe that the solution to the difficulties faced by the Tyrolean real estate company lies in the withdrawal of Rene Benko himself, which was first reported by the grocery newspaper. Accordingly, they want Arndt Goetz to take the helm. The German restructuring expert behind Schlicker’s bankruptcy has recently been appointed as an advisor.
Accordingly, the participating shareholders of Signa Holding demand that major shareholder Benko withdraw from its operational activities and hand over its company shares in trust. There is clearly a sense of urgency. Because Jewitz must take charge “immediately” in order to restore order. A similar letter from the co-owners has already been sent to Benko.
Strabag Chairman Haselsteiner on a call with other Signa owners
Just last Tuesday afternoon, according to the news magazine Spiegel, shareholders met for the first time in a video call without Benko to discuss Cigna’s future. There were Lindt & Sprüngli’s president, Ernst Tanner, as well as Strabag’s major shareholder, Hans Peter Hasselsteiner, and coffee machine entrepreneur Arthur Ogster, as well as Fressnapf founder Torsten Toeller and members of the wealthy South American Arduini logistics dynasty. Geiwitz is also said to have called.
Geiwitz has already supported Benko in the past in the recent insolvency proceedings of department store subsidiary Galeria as a general representative. However, he has not yet obtained an official role there. According to the participating shareholders, Jewitz should be given all the necessary powers to create transparency in the company’s network, which appears opaque not only from the outside. Therefore, the restructuring professional must identify the biggest issues and financing gaps and also check if and how Signa can get back on track. Investors seem to see this as a key requirement for them to pump new shares into Signa in the future.
The corporate network is designed specifically for Benko
So far, no one knows this tight-knit conglomerate like Banquo himself, and it seems like it was tailor-made for him. It is difficult to imagine that the Tyrolean businessman simply wants to change that. Officially, Benko no longer has an operating role at Signa. He is now the Chairman of the Group’s Advisory Board only. But we hear from shareholder circles that he still has to take care of many operational matters personally.
It seems that trust in Benko, who is considered a charismatic person, has been lost. Banks are avoiding entering into new deals with it, and private investors are increasingly staying away. Money is now said to be so tight that salaries can only be delayed and dividends cannot be paid. Bank loans are reportedly still being serviced. If it accrues, Signa will likely have to file for bankruptcy.
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