The real estate and trading group Signa, which has been hit by bankruptcies, has dissolved its prominent advisory board. The strategic advisory committee, which included the German management consultant Roland Berger, never had a legal function, but still incurred costs, according to well-informed circles. The chairman of the board of the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt was also among the advisory board members

A nested corporate network

Signa Holding, founded by the Austrian entrepreneur René Benko, and other companies in the intricate network of companies are insolvent. Creditors have registered claims of more than one billion euros. In addition, Mubadala, the state investment holding company of the United Arab Emirates, has demanded 713 million euros in payments from Signa Holding and its shareholders. However, this was initially rejected in an emergency arbitration procedure, the insolvency administrator of Signa Holding announced in Vienna on Thursday. Mubadala could now initiate regular arbitration proceedings. The Signa Group includes, among others, the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store group and the abandoned Elbtower construction project in Hamburg. Their parent companies have not yet filed for bankruptcy.

Thanks to low interest rates and good connections to financially strong investors, Signa was able to grow strongly during the low interest rate phase of the past few years. The increased interest rates and construction costs have recently put the real estate industry under pressure and plunged Signa into serious problems.