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Business

KarstadtQuelle Mulling Expansion in 2007

KarstadtQuelle, the German department store giant currently in the middle of a drastic restructuring to pull itself back into profit, could embark on expansion again from 2007, chairman Thomas Middelhoff said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday. "Acquisitions could be an option in all areas in 2007 at the earliest," Middelhoff told the Financial Times. "At the end of 2006, we will take stock and think what will come next for each of (our) three divisions. The future success of KarstadtQuelle depends on the three businesses and we have to do what is best for them," Middelhoff said. The chairman ruled out a break-up of the group, even if sales failed to recover. "An outright sale of mail order or the department store is not an option as they are too large," he said. KarstadtQuelle was also keen on increasing its 50-percent stake in the travel and tourism group Thomas Cook, a joint venture with German airline Lufthansa, Middelhoff continued. The group would consider a joint venture, merger or partnership within each of its three businesses, he said.

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