Deal to rescue dept. store V&D falls apart at last minute

V&D, Hoorn
V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons). (V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons))

A plan to rescue Dutch department store V&D came to a sudden end on Tuesday when potential buyer Coolinvestments pulled out of talks with the retail outlet's bankruptcy curators. Coolinvestments, a Dutch firm based in Houten, Utrecht and owned by clothing industry magnate Roland Kahn, said it was simply not possible to get all parties involved onboard with their vision of a relaunch.

“Our team has spent the past month working hard with V&D management and the administrators on a relaunch of V&D with a new lifestyle formula,” Coolinvestments announced in a statement. “We have unfortunately concluded that we were not successful in aligning the interests of all stakeholders,” the announcement continued.

“We are particularly sorry for all of the affected employees at V&D.”

Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay is said to still be interested in purchasing V&D. It was widely reported they were still in the running for the Dutch firm as late as last week. Sun Capital, the American private equity firm that currently owns V&D, was not believed to be in the running to regain control of the department store.

The store was declared bankrupt on New Year’s Eve, putting 10,300 jobs at risk. Of those, about half work for the La Place restaurants found inside many V&D stores and its roughly 250 other outlets. The restaurant chain was snapped up by supermarket firm Jumbo.

Coolinvestments was one of a handful of investors shortlisted as potential buyers of V&D. The family-owned company was founded by Roland Kahn, who started retail chain CoolCat. The group also owns America Today, MS Mode and wholesale lingerie brand Sapph.

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