V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons)
Wednesday, 4 February 2015 - 09:42
V&D landlord trying to evict cash-strapped retailer
The court in Amsterdam will rule on Friday in the lawsuit that IEF Capital filed against department store V&D. On Tuesday IEF demanded evacuation of four main V&D branches in Amsterdam, The Hague, Maastricht and Utrecht because V&D is not meeting its lease obligations. IEF also owns another 8 V&D buildings. The financially troubled V&D is facing a liquidity problem and all owners of their buildings have been asked to agree to a 4 months rent-free period and then a structural rent reduction. Other landlords also opposed this proposition, but IEF is the first to go to court. In the current economic environment, clearance of these four branches (which are responsible for 17% of V&D sales) will inevitably lead to the end of V&D, according to the counsel of the department store. "V&D can not bear such a decline in sales combined with a redundancy scheme for more than 600 employees. The predictable result is that all 10,500 V&D employees will lose their jobs." During the proceedings the V&D counsel said that IEF is consciously pushing for the department store's bankruptcy. IEF denies that it is aiming for V&D's bankruptcy. The landlord was prepared to meet with V&D, and was even willing to agree to a rent-free period of 4 months and then a rent reduction. Under the condition that V&D would surrender a large number of square meters and would transfer the subtenants. The parties could not agree to this. V&D thinks that it needs another two or three weeks to get the restructuring of the land that is needed to make the company healthy again. The department store group also wants that time to come to an agreement with IEF and other landlords. At the last minute V&D also paid part of the arrears shop rent to IEF Capital, but the real estate company did not see this as a reason to discontinue the lawsuit against the department store. On Tuesday investment company Prowinko also announced that they would file a lawsuit to evict V&D from its premises in Roermond because of rental arrears.