No Investor Found: Major German Retailer Finally Before End After Bankruptcy

A large German distributor is on the verge of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy was to be declared a few months ago. Now, the end of Staples seems sealed. The branches will probably disappear gradually because no investors could be found.

Nearly four months after Hamburg office supply retailer OfficeCentre GmbH filed for bankruptcy, its Staples office markets are on the brink of collapse. “Despite an intensive search, an investor capable of continuing the activity of the company specializing in the sale of office supplies could not be found in the long term,” insolvency administrator Sven-Holger Undritz said on Wednesday. response to a dpa request. “After the opening of the insolvency proceedings, the orderly withdrawal from the market should now begin with the sale of the goods in the branches.”

According to earlier information from the insolvency administrator, the company was the largest office supply retailer in Germany with around 700 employees, 50 branches of the “Staples” brand and an online store. Staples’ former wholesale division, which is owned by French company Lyreco and operates as Lyreco Advantage, is unaffected by the OfficeCentre bankruptcy.

After the bankruptcy of Staples: Despite many candidates, the distributor has not found an investor

Before Bankruptcy: Staples was Germany's largest office supply retailer for years.
Before Bankruptcy: Staples was Germany’s largest office supply retailer for years.

IMAGO / Hanno Bode

“I very much regret that we were unable to attract an investor into the business,” Undritz said. Over 120 potential buyers were approached and negotiations continued with several interested parties until last week. “However, the extensive review of the business model of OfficeCentre GmbH by interested parties in the context of the urgent investments needed for realignment in the market has led potential investors to withdraw from the process and no offer has been made for the long-term pursuit of Staples markets.”

Undritz and OfficeCentre chief executive Oliver Lux pointed out that employees had fought for three months with management for a restructuring. Undritz was appointed provisional insolvency administrator of OfficeCentre GmbH on February 7 by the Hamburg District Court. The insolvency proceedings were opened on May 1. Creditors have until June 20 to file their claims. A meeting of creditors was scheduled for July 20 (AZ. 67g IN 33/22).

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