October 31, 2020

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The citizens are involved in the HEMA takeover battle and want …

The citizens are involved in the HEMA takeover battle and want ...

A group of Dutch citizens makes a new attempt to acquire a stake in the department store chain HEMA. According to Financieele Dagblad, she wants to collect millions of euros from private and professional investors.

The citizens have formed a collective called “The Only Dutch Alternative (Hena)”. A fundraiser started today / Monday. You can participate from 10 euros. In her own words, Hena is targeting “people and institutions that have a warm heart for the retail chain”.

It is not the first attempt by ordinary people to save the traditional Dutch retail chain HEMA. The above-mentioned citizens’ initiative even made an offer this summer, but it was rejected because it did not have sufficient resources. Now Hena should join one of the two remaining bidders, writes FD. The citizens’ initiative would then take a minority stake.

“We want to prevent HEMA from falling back into the hands of the next loveless investor who just wants to make money out of it,” says PvdA MP Mei Li Vos, one of the initiators of the citizens’ initiative. “The interests of employees and customers must come to the fore again.”

High debt

For years, HEMA struggled with a heavy debt burden that became even more problematic due to the corona crisis. In June it became known that the retail chain was in the hands of a group of foreign bondholders. In return, they dropped the company’s debt for € 300 million. But the new owners are now looking for a buyer for HEMA. There are still two bidders, writes Financieele Dagblad: the British investor Alteri and a coalition around the Dutch investment company Parcom, including the former HEMA owner Marcel Boekhoorn and the Jumbo family Van Eerd. It’s not clear whether they want to work with the Hena citizens’ initiative.