Airlines, automakers at the forefront. And it has only just begun. EU waives rules banning state aid. Ryanair, which doesn’t need a bailout, is furious.
By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET:
Governments around Europe have rolled out a dizzying array of measures, including loan programs, tax payment deferrals, and furlough schemes, to help companies, large and small, withstand the fallout of the Covid-19 lockdowns. Large companies have also benefited from massive central bank purchases of their corporate bonds, which has helped to keep their debt costs low. But for some companies, including many of Europe’s largest corporations, it’s not enough.
The UK government last week launched Project Birch, an initiative that will allow the UK treasury to offer “last resort” support to select firms in order to avoid bankruptcy-type restructurings, that could have severe repercussions for bondholders and stockholders. Those firms could include Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover, which is currently in talks with the government to secure a loan of more than £1 billion.
“In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and its failure would disproportionately harm the economy, we may consider support on a ‘last resort’ basis,” said a Treasury spokeswoman, who reassuringly added: “As the British public would expect, we are putting in place sensible contingency planning and any such support would be on terms that protect the taxpayer.” Not exactly reassuring given the UK government’s recent record when it comes to contingency planning.
Across Europe, governments are following the same playbook. The EU has granted member countries unprecedented fiscal leeway to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus, enabling governments to open the spending spigots, and wave aside EU budget rules and competition rules that were supposed to, but didn’t really, limit government borrowing and state assistance for national companies.
In France alone, the government has mobilized €450 billion of funds to mitigate the impact of the lockdown. That does not mean France has spent €450 billion, since roughly two-thirds of the amount are in the form of state-guaranteed loans. Those guarantees will only be needed if the companies that use them default on them. Nonetheless, the government still expects France’s public debt to reach 115% of GDP by the end of this year — almost double the 60% ceiling established in the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.
So far, the biggest recipients of state aid in Europe are European airlines, some of which are still refusing to refund passengers for cancelled flights. Some airlines that don’t want government handouts, such as budget carrier Ryanair, have taken legal action against the airlines and governments involved in the bailouts.
Unlike most airlines, Ryanair has €4.1 billion in cash reserves. Its CEO Michael O’Leary is furious that his cash-flush airline will have to compete with airlines primed with bailout cash, including Italy’s Alitalia which has turned a profit only once since 1946.
This week, it looks as if it’s the car industry’s turn for a bailout bonanza, with the likes of Renault, Jaguar Land Rover and Fiat Chrysler expecting billions of euros in direct loans and state guarantees. Today, Macron announced an €8 billion plan to save the country’s car industry that includes government subsidies for car buyers and long-term investment in innovative tech, especially battery-electric vehicles.
Europe’s sprawling aerospace industry will apparently be next in line for government handouts. With so much splashing around, here’s a rundown (in descending order) of seven of Europe’s largest corporate bailouts to date:
Lufthansa, €9 billion. Germany — and Europe’s — biggest corporate rescue so far. In return for the €9 billion rescue package, the government has taken a 20% stake in the airline group, which includes brands such as Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings and whose market value is now just €4.5 billion. It also gets two seats on the company’s board.
The government says it intends to sell its stake by 2023. “When the company is afloat again, the state will sell its shares,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said, adding he hoped to do so with a small profit. Governments all over Europe, including Germany’s, made similar comments about the banks they bailed out in the wake of the global financial crisis, many of which to this day are still partly or majority state owned and continue to rack up losses.
Air France-KLM, €7.7 billion (and counting). It didn’t take long for the European Commission to sign off on the French government’s proposed €7.7 billion rescue of Groupe Air France-KLM, which includes a €4 billion state-backed bank loan and €3 billion in direct loans. “This €7 billion French guarantee and shareholder loan will provide Air France with the liquidity that it urgently needs to withstand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, said. Brussels also appears to have few qualms about the Dutch government’s plans to inject a further €2-4 billion into the country’s flagship airline group.
Fiat Chrysler, €5.6 billion. This deal, currently the biggest for a European carmaker, is still on standby. According to a Bloomberg report, Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo SpA is nearing approval of the massive state-guaranteed loan facility. It would come in handy for the world’s eight largest automaker after it lost €1.7 billion in the first quarter following a 98% plunge in car sales. That comes on the heels of a net profit of 2.7 billion in 2019.
Renault, €5 billion. This bailout, like the FCA one, has not yet been signed and sealed. But given Renault has reached an agreement on the loan with its main banks, the French State already holds 15% of Renault’s stock and France’s finance minister has said that without a bailout Renault “could disappear,” it appears to be a done deal. But it will do little to solve the deepening marital strife the French car giant is having with its corporate partner, Nissan.
TUI, €3.55 billion. To weather the Covid-19-generated storms lashing the global tourism industry, Europe’s biggest holiday operator recently received a €1.8 billion loan commitment from German state-owned lender KfW. That’s on top of a €1.75 credit agreement agreed in March.
“The commitment of the KfW bridging loan is an important first step for TUI to successfully bridge the current exceptional situation,” said Chief Executive Fritz Joussen at the end of March. The company’s shares have almost doubled in the past two weeks on hopes that some of Europe’s summer tourist season can still be salvaged. They are still down 50% since the virus crisis began.
Alitalia, €3 billion. Italy’s flagship carrier is no stranger to government handouts, having already received €7 billion in state subsidies in the decade before it entered special administration in 2017. In early March, Italy’s government seized the opportunity provided by the Covid-19 disaster to fully re-nationalize the perennially troubled carrier. Since then, it has received €3 billion in fresh capital.
Adidas, €2.4 billion. The German sportswear maker initially agreed to take a €2.4 billion government-backed loan in April to cope with the closure of stores and the postponement of the Olympic Games and Euro soccer tournament, though it bristled at the idea of suspending dividend payments as a condition of the loan. It now wants to replace that loan with other financial options as soon as possible and is reportedly planning a multi-billion euro bond.
Geconomy, €1.7 billion. The German electronics supplier received a government-backed loan of €1.7 billion in April to cushion the impact of forced shop closures on its business.
It’s worth noting that four of the seven bailed out companies listed above are German. This is no great surprise. Germany has more fiscal firepower than any other European economy, and whenever a crisis arrives, its government is quick to use it to support the corporate sector. Berlin has already mobilized €750 billion in grants and loan guarantees to companies, both large and small. Other countries are now playing catch up, particularly when it comes to saving the really large companies. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET.
Here’s the story of two student housing REITs in the UK that crashed. Read… Student Housing, One of the Most Hyped Asset Classes, Runs Out of Students
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Picking favorites to save, while others following the same rules tank.
Democracy at its finest.
Think of the Greeks, now in permanent debt depression. They are a member state of the EU and didn’t get this kind of help from Draghi.
They did not contribute to the right politicians. I really love the article in the Telegraph demanding that the UK ministers not require public stakes in companies in exchange for bailouts because that would be communist. The free money to the crony rich should be given with words of love and without any strings.
Who do they think they are, US banksters? Only US banksters have so generously bribed/contributed to politicians to control the US government and give themselves unlimited, free love money via their allegedly Federal ….reserve. See Simon Johnson’s the “Quiet Coup.”Later
That is effectively what the Fed is doing now: bailing out its cronies without any darn strings like public stakes in bailed out, recklessly run businesses of the crony rich.
no we got strings – fed is proud owner of hertz bonds
see the strings
Because the Syriaza government refused to deal with the well-nown myriad of tax colletion issues in Greece and they also refused to deal with their local oligarchs running all of their money off to Zurich unimpeded, while everyone else got locked down on 200 EUR per week “to prenvent a run on the banks”.
When one negotiates in bad faith from a weak position one just lose harder!
TEGWAR: “the exciting games without any rules”…or should I say we make up the rules as we go along…
“Rules? We ain’t got no rules! We don’t need no rules! I don’t have to show you any stinking rules!”
Big corporation around the world act alike..no surprise there. All of them act pike pigeons, you feed one, you have to feed them all..
True, but a large part of that is reimbursement. It really doesn’t mean anything long term. The unprofitable perish…..as the Hertz post concluded.
Yes, but they suck up a lot of capital and destroy a lot of employees before they tank.
When? Hertz won’t die, Tesla won’t die, Boeing won’t die, Uber won’t die, Alitialia won’t die, Fiat won’t die; the list goes on, and on. And NONE of these can turn a profit!
Kill the damn zombies!
Yes, it will hurt. Yes we may enter a depression. But it’s cheaper in the long run and the middle class is being wiped out.
I think Fiat might die. Automakers are in a long-term decline. At the very least they’ll all have to shrink significantly.
I have always believed that Fiat is another Parmalat fraud waiting to be exposed.
Parmalat was unexpected. So i doubt that Fiat is like Parmalat
When the middle class is completely wiped out, who will provide the buffer for the proverbial pitchforks?
free netflix and fast food delivered by drones.
It’s called bread and circuses.
Indeed, in Latin as the term goes “panem et circenses”…however, this will only go so far; be aware that when folks have nothing to lose and start to feel desperate and angry…look out, sad to say and hope I’m wrong.
Fiat is actually pretty profitable – they have a few money-sink models, but since the Chrysler merger they did not simply turn Jeep into a global cash-cow, but also did great deals with selling Magneti Marelli and spinning off Ferrari and CHN.
The accounting fraud in Fiat lies within the fact that they do not pay taxes in Italy and various legal tricks the previous management executed, but otherwise they are a healthy manufacturer, don’t know where people get the idea that it’s a company on the edge of bankruptcy.
Fiat makes shitty cars and has no electric car program. Which costs a lot of money but selling a non electric car in 2030 is for specialty market. Not the mainstream market.
Let’s rephrase that: Fiat makes cars you don’t like. Also, they do have electric car programmes – one just debuted, the Maserati one will be revelaed in a few months. What they have on top of that is one of the cheapest manufacturing background in the segment (outside of Asia) paired with some smartass engineers. It’s no coincidence both Renault and PSA though the merger on offer is a bargain, just because the company is not sexy in the eye of consumers it can still be appealing to the industry.
Cash is trash and small business is an antiquated concept. Now all aspects of our lives, governments, economies, and laws will be in service of multinational corporations.
Nations and citizenship doesn’t matter. Stock ownership is the new citizenship. Allegiance to your FANG employer comes before your allegiance to god or country in the new world.
€9,000,000,000 taxpayer money to save Lufthansa “whose market value is now just €4.5 billion”.
It is beyond words.
What’s to stop all the DAX AGs holding out their hands for the same?
I wish Ryanair all the very best with their endeavours.
The bailouts truly are in-your-face punishment for thrift and good business practices.
Keeping the current money game going so that next bailout will be in trillions in 6 to 8 years.
Nobody likes Ryanair so best wishes is all they are gonna get!
I like Ryanair and I like Michael O’Leary. Any problems? ;-)
Personally I believe this match goes far beyond the mere monetary part: government-backed airlines like Lufthansa and Alitalia have already announced they will be resuming dozens of flights in June already, with more to come in July and beyond. At the same time it transpired passengers boarding British Airways and Air France flights between Britain and France are not subject to mandatory quarantines for international travelers between the two countries and the Nice airport re-opened well ahead of schedule (it was supposed to re-open “in September at earliest”) to allow British Crown subjects to reach their second homes in the French Riviera and pump some money in the local economy. ;-)
All the involved governments took maybe half a hour to solve these problems between themselves, but they don’t want to tackle the issue of re-opening EU borders for purely political reasons.
Michael O’Leary represents a large segment of the European population and corporate world which is livid with the rage at the “two weights, two measures” system adopted by governments. Just think about those seven millions in Italy still waiting for their April unemployment cheques while furlough’d Alitalia employees have received 80% of their wages on perfect time.
For an airline with no patron saints like Ryanair the continuous flip-flopping about re-opening borders while governments go behind our backs like the French and British did is worse than an economic catastrophe: it’s a slap in the face.
Michael O’Leary has already shown he isn’t afraid to close down bases and fire people to prove his point. He’s a fighter. But I fear this is a battle nobody, not even he can win: a battle against very stupid people with far too much power.
Wolf, how about another guest post from this guy?
He decides when he is ready :-]
Everybody hates Ryanair, except MC01 and maybe O’Leary. And the only reason why O’Leary says those things is because he knows it will happen anyway.
.Airlines are a public transit system. That is why they need to be saved and why they are massively subsidized even in good times.
The day by day increase in the moral hazard level is truly breathtaking.
Getting good ring side seats to politicians acting idiotic in their threats and how they come up with the most asinine policies.
Toronto Mayor is threatening 40% tax increase meanwhile he believes that for each house he builds generates 5 fulltime jobs. Keeps spending with no worries of where the money comes from.
Nothing on responsible spending, just full steam ahead.
He did just come back from China just as the virus broke out too.
The day of reckoning will be thunderous. I don’t envy the future generations. The saddest thing is that the politicians who erected that monumental disaster-to-be will be long out of the picture when everything crashes down.
Moral hazard? They’re treating this like a water hazard – just keep hitting another new ball hoping one makes it onto the green. And they have infinite balls.
Are we back to US equities (DJIA / S&P) being the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry…which explains the blistering 2020 rise in equity prices? Our Fed is not as bad as your Fed?
Ryanair, which doesn’t need a bailout, is furious.
Along with every prudent person and entity on the planet. What a sap! I paid my mortgage off. I put my chillrens through masters degress and law skool. Should have levered to the hilt. Meanwhile, my chillerns will have trouble buying homes at inflated prices, saving after paying higher taxes which are sure to come and starting families. Maybe J-PO can print me some grand-chillrens? What a sap. But at least Howard University got some bailout dough! What a crapshow…now they are talking about paying people to take their jobs back. I have an idea, you not takey job, you sleep in alley!
Bill the Chinese!!!… PJS
Sorry if I seem to be repeating myself but this is now just beyond absurd and truly unreal.
After the GFC most if not all Governments imposed really harsh austerity measures that really hit and hurt the most in need in our societies. Yet they have no hesitation in bailing out big business’s even if they are losing money hand over fist and in reality are virtually worthless. As that is of course OK.
The stock markets continue to make gains as if nothing really serious has even happened and everything is going great. A total disconnect from the reality all around us.
How can anyone believe that money has any true worth or value when as soon as more is needed its just created. How if ever is this ever going to be able to repaid? and by whom?
Might as well just give every household a Monopoly set and make Monopoly money the standard currency for all transactions and if you run out you just get another set and more money. At least the game maker would see a rise in sales and dare I say it profits. As let face it Monopoly money has just as much real value as any other currency as it only needs the will to believe it does to make it so.
There are only two things I am really happy about one is that I just turned 60 so don’t have to put up with this crap for much longer and if and when it gets to bad can check out at will.
The second which is one that not many understood at the time was when I was just 19 was the decision that I wasn’t going to have kids and bring more life into this Feffed up world. But boy am I glad I had that foresight to plan that.
My good friend sent me this: (I’ll shorten it so you get the gist)
“Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war.
> Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
> On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.
> When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII.
> Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
> At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people, including Canadian, Australian, British and American troops, perish in that conflict.
> On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
> When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.
> Since then, Afghanistan, Iran, Grenada, just to name a few, have been invaded.
> Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that?
As to having kids? I have 2. I cannot imagine my life without them. There is lots wrong with the World, but for all the anger directed at globalisation and the current situation there has certainly been a lot of wealth created along with debt. There is enough wealth in N Europe and N America to support families in getting through this pandemic. It might take some protest and violence to make it happen, but I would imagine the oligarchs who think they run everything are becoming more afraid by the day. They lose control and they’ll lose their heads.
This pandemic and perhaps an impending depression is full of ramifications. However, everything pales beside a few crop failures and unfettered migration as people try and escape starvation brought forward with rapid climate change. 2020 might be a good year compared to that kind of disruption.
My grandfather was born in 1900, d,1993. He lied about his age and served the U.S. in France at age 16-17, his unit help bring down the Red Barron. During transport via ship across the Atlantic, the troops were terrified of German U-boats. I wish I had asked him so much more but I do remember him talking about old men from the Civil war. At age 4 he and his brother held down the canvas of a covered wagon during a storm while their father attended their dying mother. Yes, what times and plenty of wars to go around.
In 1941, when Grandpa read in the Otago Daily Times that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbour, he banged his fist on the table, and exclaimed, “we’ve won, we’ve won”.
I’ve never understood how the Japanese fleet could so impressively misapply the tactics of Admiral Cunningham at Taranto.
Why would the game maker bother to make Monopoly sets to get a profit, while it can just print it’s profits?
Money has no true value. It is just an intermediate between buyer and seller
1) Will Germany or France save Spain or Italy ?
2) When EU was created every nation had to submit portion of it
sovereign power to the other nations, in order to prevent tyranny, anarchy and wars. Germany was forced to sign membership before unification.
3) CV19 struck the southern European countries hard. The northern countries are trying to save themselves, keep some space between themselves and the rest. The European union is tested.
4) Will Trump help NY state or CA and what will be the price.
Zombies… more debt for more over capacity…
Well at least you know you can crypto ransom these folks and they can afford to pay :P
EU waves >>> waives…
But I hafta admit “EU waves” is so much cuter :-]
Love Europe and the EU.
Privatize the profit.
Publicize the losses ;-)
It’s interesting, all of this bailout going on when the problem is a combination of demand and forced reduction of demand via lockdown and media blitz.
One wonders how demand could be stimulated at this point, because holding up the supply side of the equation is awfully hard when no one wants to fly or the consumer who are the intended vict… I mean customers of these car companies doesn’t have a job and the wherewithal to purchase a vehicle.
Current demand is not stimulated. Companies are saved so future demand can be satisfied. Or just saved so their workers wages create demand.
Not very surprising that Europe is jumping on the game now. Most of the governments of the “more stable” nations realize they are sitting on dis-affected populations facing a potential collapse of support. Rioting and rebellion are real threats just removed by a few small accidents. Buying a calm is the rule of the day right now, and they are betting on it staving off what is rapidly increasing in probability on the current course. It’s the biggest gambit ever played and they’ll throw every can of soup they can muster. May just be a bigger hole for the next time, if they survive this one. Negative energies are building.
Oh, they are building and some.
I would not like to be an elected official in the Algarve or Naples. I guess those areas, amongst others, must be simmering at least.
Why, it is not a problem that people can fix right now. sometimes you just have to wait
EU has more workers (working) today than a years ago. The economy is for the people, not the people for the economy (of a selected few). Let them do the way they want it. If they like nice benefits, long vacations, 32 hours work weeks, 2 year maternity leave then that is completely fine.
Hmm, you really do need to meet a typical European functionary, smugly claiming to be ‘essential’ and worth every euro spent on their long and numerous holidays, short working days and cast-iron unscakableness.
Simply maddening for those of us who have to go out and find customers!
I’m actually all in favour of holidays, but not that kind of corruption and self-interest disguised as ‘ selfless public service.’ Yes, that’s how they describe themselves.
‘unsackableness’. Serves me right for making up a word.
Fair point, but they all have a vote…
Actually I think “caca” describes very well what anything touched by bureaucrats turn into.
Funny thing that while European governments are doing backflips to keep borders closed, Lufthansa and Alitalia are gearing up for a big restart in operations in June and Air France and KLM have already restarted.
The Italian government is actually “alarmed” about the big drop in new cases which started over the weekend. Yes, instead of telling everybody “Look what a great job we’ve done, vote for us next time around” (rule #1 of politics) they are actually afraid of some good news for a change.
I’d normally make a witty remark or an obscure joke but I have no fight left in me and I am too scared of these folks: they may even decide to lock us up again because we don’t get sick fast enough for their likings.
Which brings me to my big point: why green-light hundreds of flights, incentivate tourism and bailout hotel chains if these clowns (as in Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the Stephen King novel) want to keep people locked up? At that point just shut up everything for good, brick up people at home and be done with it.
We know we are not getting out of this (because politics, not virus) so why even bother? Just mail us all the mandatory cyanide pill and be done with it.
Sad comment but it is the sad reality in Italy now, hope has left far away
Even though there may be perception that the Italian an EU systems of government may be perennial disasters, we rather quite like the Italians and wouldn’t mind if they stuck around.
Our government isn’t much better, but we have realised the benefits of sangfroid…. and gin.
>including Italy’s Alitalia which has turned a profit only once since 1946
Dont’t you dare insult my country’s flagship carrier: Alitalia turned a profit *twice* since 1946 (1987 and 1998).
United States of Europe – USE?
As in, “USE us?”
One phrase says it all: “support to select firms.”
… as run by our bezze mates.
Bailouts like this are an unmitigated disaster. Bankruptcy (or similar) is needed: send shares to 0, give the bondholders stock, keep operating, etc. Then the risk-takers (financial paper holders) take the pain.
In the US so far, it has not gone this far, but almost. All manner of businesses (investment advisors!?) have gotten the “loans” (that are forgiven in most cases). They (investment advisors) work on fees and commissions, right? Why would they need this? (I am sure this goes for lots of businesses.)
Selectively shut down fields on any of the International Full Employment Plantations….Nutzzz! Can’t keep the debt slaves busy is you call a halt to the make-work. They see that some of the older ones are allowed to go off & sharecrop their own plots around the time their productivity begins to drop. This gives the young ones hope that beating themselves to debt(h) will result in a “pensioner paradise” retirement lifestyle. Sure, the various plantation owners treat their slaves differently. But no chance that any should get the crazy idea that they might be able to file a claim for their own farm with no obligations to the masters. That’s insanity. The dinner prayer must remain, “Three potatoes for four of us, Thank God there’s no more of us”. The master must get that fourth spud at all times from each family.
When it comes to customer service, My experience of Ryanair is that they are dreadful. I have only ever picked them when there wasn’t an alternative.
That said, I do think O’Leary has a right to be aggrieved at the bailouts of Alitalia et alia.
As important as you guys say this is the British media has and will spend the foreseeable future talking about the civil servant Dominic Cummings and how he left the house during lockdown. However I did see on the BBC the other day how negative interest rates will be good for first time buyers.
Seriously though has there even been a better example of moral hazard? A shit company is bailed out whilst one that is successful and had the sense to keep reserves gets nothing and has to compete.
The thing that Annoys me is how the majority don’t seemed bothered about this at all. In fact they welcome it like it’s the sensible way to run an economy.
I assume Geconomy is Ceconomy. owner of Mediamarkt/Saturn electronics retailers. Split of from Metro who has a habit of splitting of unprofitable/dying parts. So the question is when will they die?
I drove in front of the nearest Mediaworld (Mediamarkt’s local name) last Thursday: there was a queue of people waiting to get in because at 9:30AM it still had not opened.
I could not but wonder how could somebody want to shop at Mediaworld considering the poor selection and especially the extortionate prices. Even for those who are online sales resistant there are better alternatives, such as the local Asus Pro-Store.
The locals here love Mediaworld: they have always did. No idea why because the store looks dilapidated from the outside and those prices…
Should Ceconomy fold I fully expect a commemorative ceremony to be held in front of the closed store with flower wreaths and people crying.
Mediamarkt is a place of pilgrimage for electronics. A not especially great experience but the best you can get in Europe.
I don’t know… last time I was there I was looking for something very simple (car audio speakers or something equally lame) and walked out empty-handed. I was not particularly impressed by anything I saw, be them vacuum cleaners or refrigerators.
Granted, 15 years ago they were the best deal in town but they are still stuck in 2005 apparently.
It is a part split of ffrom Metro. A.K.A. on death watch. Metro has the habit to spit out dying retail companies. They have done that a number of time in the last three decades and they all ended up bankrupt within a few years. Mediamarkt was split of 3 years ago so should die around 2022
2005 was the year they sold DVD’s, CD’s,,games, camera’s, PC that were better than last year, dvd players. etc.
Now they still offer them but people don’t buy them and what people buy, TV’s, has crashed in price or they are not the lead B&M selling channel (mobiles/kitchen stuff) And then we have the web. Rumor has it that they didn’t make a profit in the last decade and i believe it. So many B&M electronic retailers have gone tits up in the last decades that they still are likely the best deal in town. But that is more likely due to being the only deal in town