March 17, 2012 / 4:38 PM / 7 years ago

Germany's Schlecker aims to find investor by end-May

A woman enters a branch of drugstore chain Schlecker, which is offering a discount of 30 percent, in Berlin March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Insolvent German drugstore chain Schlecker aims to find an investor by the end of May, its administrator told a German magazine.

“If everything goes according to plan, we can be done with the investor process by the Pentecost holiday,” Arndt Geiwitz told weekly Wirtschafts Woche, according to an excerpt of an article to be published on Monday.

Unlisted Schlecker, which competes with privately held peers Rossmann and dm, filed for insolvency in January after struggling to secure funds against a gloomy economic backdrop.

The company, which owes suppliers including Unilever (ULVR.L)(UNc.AS) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N) several hundred million euros, plans to cut about 12,000 jobs and shut more than 2,000 of its 5,400 stores.

Geiwitz said about two dozen potential investors had expressed interest in Schlecker, and that negotiations will begin once he makes a shortlist in the coming days.

“The most appropriate investor would surely be someone who has experience in retail and knows his way around the management structure of medium-sized companies,” Geiwitz said.

A spokesman for Geiwitz said on Saturday that the interested parties include both financial and strategic investors.

His comments come as he negotiates planned job cuts with representatives of Schlecker’s workforce and union Verdi.

Reporting by Stefanie Huber and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Catherine Evans

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