Anttila has filed for bankruptcy no more than roughly a year after it was acquired by 4K Invest, a private equity firm based in Munich, Germany.
The declaration of bankruptcy was both issued, by the department store retailer itself, and accepted on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the District Court of Helsinki reveals in an interview with Uusi Suomi. “The debtor is according to its declaration insolvent and no particular reasons not to accept the declaration have been found,” the ruling reads.
Kai Vauhkala, the chief shop steward at Anttila, says he was surprised by the bankruptcy announcement. “There isn't too much hope. We don't know anything about the notice periods, for example. We don't know whether or not they've already been discussed,” he said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.
Anttila managed to pare down its operating losses from 95 million euros in 2014 to 53 million euros in 2015 despite a sharp decline in net sales and described its financial position as excellent in its financial statement for 2015. The 23 Anttila and 8 Kodin1 department stores that make up the chain today provide employment to roughly 1,300 people.
- Kesko divests Anttila for €1M (18 March, 2015)
Spokespersons for the department store retailer declined to comment on the matter to Uusi Suomi on Tuesday, while the administrator of the bankruptcy estate, Mikko Tiilikka, was unavailable for an interview. Tiilikka estimated in an interview with YLE, however, that the main reason for the bankruptcy application was lack of profitability.
“We've yet to hear the management's assessment,” he told the national broadcasting company.
Tiilikka also told Helsingin Sanomat that the bankruptcy estate will immediately begin looking for a buyer for Anttila.
Iltalehti was the first news outlet to write about the bankruptcy.
Anttila launched yet another round of consultative negotiations with its staff earlier this summer, but the negotiations will not be wrapped up on schedule due to the bankruptcy, Vauhkala says to Helsingin Sanomat. The retailer seemed to be in a considerably better condition no more than six months ago as it overhauled its web-shop and announced the openings of next-generation department stores in Lohja, Tornio and Turku.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Aleksi Tuomola – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi