BauMax to close stores in Turkey

BauMax to close stores in Turkey

VIENNA - Reuters
Struggling Austrian home-improvements store chain BauMax will close its seven outlets in Turkey and may exit other markets in southeast Europe, its owner said.

BauMax, which employs about 10,000 staff in nine countries, made a loss of 126 million euros ($173 million) in 2012 after overextending itself with a push into eastern Europe, and most recently into Turkey in 2010. It has not published 2013 results.

“We will close Turkey,” owner Karlheinz Essl told ORF television after his offer to sell his contemporary art collection worth an estimated 250 million euros to the Austrian government - which he argued could help save thousands of jobs in the company - was rejected on April 2.

“We are in the process of considering whether there will be other countries. That will be decided by the end of April,” Essl said.

German rival Praktiker said in February it would close its stores in Turkey and withdraw from the country after failing to sell its nine stores there.