Benko’s Signa unit seeks $2.2 billion funding amid property crisis – Bloomberg News

(Reuters) – Property tycoon Rene Benko-founded Signa Group’s Prime unit has approached investors to seek up to 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion) in funding, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Signa Prime, which co-owns the Selfridges department store in London, requires 500 million euros to meet obligations this year alone and will need another 1.5 billion euros of cash in the first half of 2024, the report said.

Some of the investors have turned down the request, while others are still in the early stages of assessing it, according to Bloomberg News.

Austria-based Signa did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Thailand’s largest department store owner, Central Group, on Tuesday took control of Selfridges department stores after the real estate company brought it in a deal worth $5 billion in 2021.

The funding request comes as Signa faces a property crisis in Europe exacerbated by a sharp rise in rates and building costs.

Benko this month handed over control of Signa to restructuring expert Arndt Geiwitz.

($1 = 0.9222 euros)

(Reporting by Angela Christy M; Editing by Devika Syamnath)