Praktiker to seek protection from creditors

Praktiker AG, the German home-improvement chain formerly owned by Metro AG, will file for insolvency on Thursday after the sale of a division collapsed, potentially putting thousands of workers out of their jobs.

Praktiker will seek protection from creditors for the holding company and some German parts of the group, Harald Guenter, a spokesman for the Kirkel-based retailer, said Thursday.

Praktiker dropped as much as 72 percent to 10 cents and was trading down 63 percent at 14 cents as of 12:34 p.m. in Frankfurt, the lowest price since Praktiker’s initial public offering in November 2005.

Creditors declined Wednesday to approve a debt reorganization that became necessary after a potential buyer of a stake in Luxembourg-based unit Batiself SA decided against a transaction, Praktiker said in a statement.

Operations abroad and the Max Bahr brand won’t be affected by an insolvency filing, Praktiker said in a separate statement to employees.

There are now 14 Praktiker stores across Greece. [Bloomberg/Kathimerini English Edition]