Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH is a German department store chain whose headquarters are in Essen. Up until 30 September 2010 the company was a subsidiary of Arcandor AG (which was known until 30 June 2007 as KarstadtQuelle AG) and was responsible within the group for the business segment of over-the-counter retail. On 9 June 2009 Essen District Court ordered provisional asset administration and protective measures in response to an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings. It also appointed a provisional insolvency administrator. The insolvency proceedings were opened on 1 September 2009. On 7 June 2010 the board of creditors resolved to sell Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH to the investor Nicolas Berggruen. Berggruen had taken over all Karstadt stores by 1 October 2010. This had been determined by Essen District Court on 3 September 2010. On 14 August 2014 it was announced that Karstadt had been completely taken over by Signa Holding of the Austrian investor René Benko, which already owned the majority of the sports shops and premium stores. Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH comprises 83 department stores, 4 bargain centres, 2 branches of K Town and the online shop karstadt.de. The 28 sports shops belong to Karstadt Sports GmbH. The three premium stores including Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin which, with a sales area of 60,000 square metres, is both the largest German and second largest European department store belong to Karstadt Premium GmbH.
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