Cosmos in Bankruptcy

News Brief: Mar. 2010

Swallowed by debts in the value of nearly €40 million, with suppliers canceling shipments and creditors calling in debts, Cosmos, Austria’s second largest chain for electric appliances, has filed for bankruptcy.

After a series of unfruitful negotiations with Prisma, Cosmos’ most significant lender, owner and manager Markus Stauder announced the launch of a search for a new investor to take over the business.

Sales have dropped precipitously in recent months, resulting in the closing of 10 out of the 27 branches by the end of February. Some of Vienna’s central locations are on the hit list, including Keplerplatz, Olympiaplatz, Mariahilferstraße, Simmeringer Hauptstraße and Grinzinger Straße, and as many as 250 employees will lose their jobs at those sites. Another 1000 nationwide are still awaiting a final decision from the negotiations with potential investors.

The bankruptcy has been structured to free interested investors from previous liabilities, according to lawyer Karl Engelhardt. However, if no investor has stepped up to take control by early March, Cosmos will most likely be faced with liquidation.

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