Benko Private Trust Bankruptcy – Rene Benko is in free fall

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Bankruptcies continue in Rene Benko's empire. Now the Benko family's private foundation in Innsbruck has also filed for bankruptcy.

INNSBRUCK – After Rene Benko filed for bankruptcy, his private foundation is now following suit. On Thursday (March 28), Austrian media reported that the Benko family's private foundation in Innsbruck had filed for bankruptcy. The trust's assets include investments in Cigna Holdings, which went bankrupt in November 2023.

About a month ago, the real estate mogul had to file for bankruptcy as a private entrepreneur. Tyrolean investor Benko built an empire with many valuable properties over the years and was long considered one of the wealthiest Austrians. In Germany he became known primarily for his purchase of KaDeWe assets.

Benco Foundation has assets of 250 million euros

The Benko Family Private Foundation is one of three foundations to which René Benko allegedly divested his assets. Like the Austrian The Crown Newspaper The assets of the now insolvent trust are said to be 250 million euros. Money from this trust is suspected to have flowed into Cigna Holdings in 2023 as a financial injection.

The Cigna bankruptcy was the largest bankruptcy in Austria's history. There are growing indications that sooner or later Rene Benko will be put in charge. Apart from Cigna Holdings, two companies, Cigna Development and Cigna Prime, had to file for bankruptcy. Cigna Prime's portfolio includes the Hamburg Elbtower project, the Berlin Gadewee department store and the Galleria Gerstadt Kaufhof department store chain, among other properties. All these companies have now had to file for bankruptcy.

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René Benko is the founder of the bankrupt Cigna Group. © Helmut Foehringer/APA/dpa

But things will probably continue for Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: There should be clarity by April, with the bankruptcy administrator negotiating with two interested parties who might want to buy the department store chain. Galeria cited higher rental payments demanded by Cigna as the reason for the disparity. Benco's bankrupt group owned nearly 20 department store properties.

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