Seitz has been advising Karstadt and Kaufhof for many years on all employment law issues, including collective bargaining negotiations and extensive restructurings. In the context of the merger as Signa Retail Group, Seitz provided employment law advice on the merger of Karstadt and Kaufhof and the further post-merger integration. The merger created the second largest department stores group in Europe. A milestone of the merger was the agreement with labor union ver.di on an integration and transitional collective agreement in December 2019.
The department stores group also relied on Seitz in the big and protective shield proceedings in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and in 2022/23 due to the Ukraine crisis. Both insolvencies involved extensive personnel measures at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof and its subsidiaries. As part of the 2020 protective shield proceedings, 40 stores were closed at Galeria, among other things. The 2022/23 protective shield proceedings entailed the closure of a further 42 stores as well as extensive personnel measures in all continuing stores and the company's head office.
The mandate demonstrates the firm's experience and excellence in major crisis-related restructurings and complex corporate mergers, including post-merger integration.