No buyers for Germany's bankrupt 2,800-drugstore chain Schlecker

Insolvency administrators yesterday gave up on finding a buyer for the bankrupt 2,800 German drugstore chain Schlecker, leaving around 13,200 jobs at risk.

The 37 year-old chain, which owed its creditors between €500 million and €1 billion ($618 million - $1.24 billion), had entered into bankruptcy protection in January and two months later axed over 11,000 jobs and closed more than 2,000 stores in an attempt to save rest of the chain.

''I regret this decision for the many employees of Schlecker, some of whom have been with the company for years, and who will now lose their jobs," said insolvency administrator, Arndt Geiwitz.

Geiwitz said that it had failed to find a solution to the chain as there was only one offer for the entire chain, which was not acceptable to the creditors.

Billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, owner of the Karstadt chain of department stores in Germany, and private investment firm Cerberus Capital were the only interested bidders for Schlecker, but Berggruen pulled out from the bidding process, while Cerberus' offer was seen as too low by the creditors.

German media reports had earlier said that the sale of Schlecker would fetch not more than €100 million and the chain would require around €90 million to €150 million to refurbish the outdated stores.