Thai Central Group acquires Berlin-based KaDeWe

BERLIN – In a remarkable turn of events, it has now been revealed that the prestigious Central Group from Thailand has acquired the famous Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin. This strategic move secures the future of one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious department stores.

The Central Group, a family business that has been in existence for four generations and belongs to one of Thailand’s richest and most influential families, has further established itself in the European retail landscape with this purchase. The group, which already owns an impressive collection of luxury department stores in Italy and Denmark, has now strengthened its presence in Germany.

KaDeWe, which has been a symbol of luxury and elegance for over a century, faced financial challenges that were exacerbated by the insolvency of the Signa subsidiary Prime Selection. The acquisition by the Central Group, which has held the majority of the KaDeWe Group since 2015, marks a decisive turning point.

With a sales area of around 60,000 square meters and an exquisite selection of high-quality products and services, KaDeWe is more than just a department store; it is a cultural landmark and a meeting place for locals and tourists alike.

The Central Group has expressed its intention to take over not only the building but also the operation of KaDeWe, indicating a comprehensive restructuring and modernization. This step is seen as the first major milestone in the rehabilitation and restructuring of the KaDeWe Group towards a sustainable and financially viable company. The group already has experience in reviving luxury department stores, as demonstrated by the successful takeover and management of the Italian department store chain La Rinascente and the Danish department store Illum.

The Chirathivat family, which stands behind the Central Group, is known for their visionary leadership and commitment to excellence in retail. Their fortune was estimated by Forbes in 2023 at $12.4 billion. With a portfolio that ranges from supermarkets to department store chains to hotels and restaurants, the Central Group has proven its ability to revitalize brands and lead them to the forefront of modern retail.

It is expected that the similar famous properties Oberpollinger (Munich) and Alsterhaus (Hamburg) are also to be taken over by the Central Group.

The acquisition of KaDeWe Bei the Thai Group is a positive signal for the future of retail in Berlin and beyond. It demonstrates confidence in the strength and attractiveness of the German market and the willingness to invest in its further development.

For the employees of KaDeWe and the people of Berlin, this is news that brings hope and confidence. It is a promise that KaDeWe will continue to be a place of innovation, luxury, and joy for all who enter its doors. (zai) (Photo: hz)