BERLIN — Don Watros, president of HBC International, has been named chairman of the supervisory board of Galeria Kaufhof GmbH.
As reported in WWD today, HBC’s acquisition of the Galeria Kaufhof department store chain from Germany’s Metro Group was successfully closed Wednesday, September 30. The deal, which cost 3.8 billion Canadian dollars, or $2.8 billion at current exchange, marks HBC’s entry into the European market. Kaufhof operates 103 Galeria Kaufhof doors and 16 Sportarena stores in Germany, as well as the 16-unit Inno chain in Belgium.
The Galeria Kaufhof board was previously headed by Lovro Mandac, the 20-year chief of the Galeria Holding which oversaw both the operative department store business and its real estate. He has now left the company.
As a Galeria Kaufhof spokesman explained, the Metro Group already started a transition process within the company last year by naming Olivier Van den Bossche ceo of Galeria Kaufhof with responsibility for the operative business. With HBC, as reported, selling 41 Kaufhof locations to its joint real estate venture with Simon Property Group, “the Holding has no function anymore.” And it is understandable, he added, that the new owner of Galeria Kaufhof controls the supervisory board.
In addition to Watros, HBC will fill another nine Kaufhof board seats formerly held by Metro representatives. Also on the board: 10 employee representatives from the Galeria Kaufhof Group. “I am pleased, together with the directors under the leadership of Olivier van den Bossche (ceo of Galeria Kaufhof Group) to realize our plans and to help the Galeria Kaufhof Group reach new growth and success.”