By  on January 30, 2007

BERLIN — A group of investors acquired a 5 percent stake in KarstadtQuelle from Allianz on Monday, the German retail and tourism group said Monday.

As a result, Allianz's stake in KarstadtQuelle dropped from 7.64 percent to 2.64 percent. Neither Allianz or KarstadtQuelle would provide further details on share price or the identity of the buyers. However, in an official statement, Detlef Neleing, head of investor relations at KarstadtQuelle AG, referred to an "enormously positive response to our company" at recent presentations in the U.S., Switzerland and Germany. He added, "We expect U.S. traders in particular to continue to buy in on a large scale."

Earlier in the month, the Essen, Germany, group reported a 1 percent gain in group sales in the fourth quarter of 2006, and the Karstadt Department Stores and Sports Stores increased quarterly sales 4.4 percent, to 1.38 billion euros, or $1.78 billion.

The group, which includes mail-order, tourist, financial services and real estate operations, confirmed its 2006 earnings forecast for adjusted Group EBITDA (without the real estate segment) to increase 10 percent.

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