An Essen, Germany, court has approved the sale of the country's Karstadt department store chain to billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, ending insolvency procedures which started in June 2009.
"Karstadt stands and will have an exciting life," says Berggruen. "I'm very happy that I'm part of it."
Berggruen Holdings, the U.S. billionaire's investment vehicle, buys real estate in the U.S., Germany, Japan and other countries and is developing hydro-electric power plants in Turkey. It has acquired more than 50 buildings in the Berlin area, including some heritage-protected edifices such as the Cafe Moskau. After purchasing the properties, Berggruen has often renovated them and rented them to other operators.