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Arcandor faces break up

German retail group Arcandor, which filed for insolvency in June, has ended its search for an “anchor” investor to keep the business afloat, which may lead to a break up of the company.

Arcandor, which operates department store Karstadt, said that the chances of finding a single “investor allowing the group to continue as a going concern are by now considered to be extremely low”, according to a statement.

The board is now focusing on finding investors for Karstadt and the Primondo mail-order unit.

The management team at Arcandor, led by chief executive Karl-Gerhard Eick, ended its plans to save the company as a going concern after a court-appointed administrator this week said he may propose his own restructuring.

Administrator Klaus Hubert Goerg is set to announce his plans for Arcandor today.

Karstadt has been targeted by German retail giant Metro, which wants to merge the chain with its Kaufhof department stores.

Loss-making Primondo is understood to have been targeted by Otto Group, Germany’s largest mail order business.

Newspaper reports have suggested that Arcandor is in talks with at least two investors interested in buying a stake in Primondo or Karstadt and that Italian lender Mediobanca SpA is involved in one of the groups.

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