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New investor steps in to Praktiker financing fray
July 25, 2012 / 2:19 PM / 5 years ago

New investor steps in to Praktiker financing fray

FRANKFURT, July 25 (Reuters) - Struggling German DIY chain Praktiker has received an offer of financial help from investor Clemens Vedder, who joined critical shareholders in stating his opposition to a financing deal with a U.S. investor.

Praktiker is seeking financing worth around 240 million euros ($290 million) so it can restructure and stave off bankruptcy. It ran into a steep loss in 2011 after an abrupt end to its popular discounts put customers off.

Around 85 million of that should come from a high-interest loan from U.S. investor Anchorage, which in return will gain options to 15 percent of Praktiker’s stock.

The Anchorage plan has drawn fierce opposition from fund manager Isabella de Krassny, who represents shareholders with around 16 percent of Praktiker.

She put forward a different plan at a marathon shareholders’ meeting earlier this month but eventually agreed to back management’s restructuring scheme after Praktiker agreed to replace two supervisory board members .

A spokesman for Vedder’s Goldsmith vehicle, which he owns with long-term business partner Klaus-Peter Schneidewind, said he wanted to invest at least 30 million euros and had not been in contact with de Krassny.

In a statement, Vedder said his offer was more attractive than Anchorage’s as it did not have such high costs.

A spokesman for Praktiker said the firm had not seen the offer from Vedder and that it was finalising terms with Anchorage. Praktiker is due to report second quarter results on Thursday.

$1 = 0.8275 euros Reporting by Joern Poltz and Alexander Huebner; writing by Victoria Bryan

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