The great waste of taxes surrounding the Signa bankruptcy

Last Updated: 16. Februar 2024By

Do you, as a taxpayer, often feel like you are being lied to and cheated? This feeling is not wrong, because there is new „evidence“ of how taxpayer money is carelessly thrown out the window.

It is about the bankruptcy of the Signa Group, which received 680 million euros in state aid shortly before filing for insolvency. The Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) had paid this amount to Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof as part of Corona aid, apparently without sufficient security and without reliable research into the financial background of the Signa/Benko empire.

According to, the WDR has confidential documents that show that those responsible at the WSF apparently expected Galeria to go bankrupt again. In this case, any outstanding claims against Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof were to be sold to Signa.

This secret agreement is a scandal. It is said that a secret put-options agreement was concluded. This is supposed to state that in the event of insolvency of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the parent company Signa would step in. However, the outstanding claims would not have had to be repaid in full to the WSF. Only 88 million euros were secured, and this was only with goods, name and trademark rights. Signa would have received a discount on this amount. Only 27 million euros would have had to be paid.

So it was clear from the beginning that in the „if“ case, taxpayers would have to forego 60 million euros. A clause about what would happen in the event of a Signa Holding bankruptcy was completely missing – and this is exactly what happened in late 2023.

A brief look at the annual financial statements of the Swiss parent company of Galeria could have shown that the company was on the brink of another bankruptcy. According to, Signa Retail Selection AG had a loss of 1.394 billion euros as of September 30, 2022, with depreciation and impairment losses totaling 857 million euros.

Benko not only got off lightly, he also made millions. He was exempted from any liability. Instead, the billionaire profited from the state aid, as millions flowed into Benko’s corporate empire through the rents that Galeria had to pay to Signa.

Since the Signa Group did not submit any group financial statements for years, all alarm bells should have been ringing for those responsible at the WSF, but they trusted the information provided by the holding company. It was claimed that Signa had billions in assets and was highly profitable.

According to current EU law, no funds should have been paid out, as „companies in difficulty“ could only be supported if they still had more than half of their equity capital as of December 31, 2019, which was no longer the case for Galeria as of September 30, 2019.

How did this faux pas happen? Was it the incompetence of the WSF? Ignorance? Or good relations with high-ranking politicians, including Olaf Scholz, who as finance minister at the time disbursed the Corona aid? This will probably never be clarified. The only fact is: millions of euros of taxpayer money have been wasted.

What you should do now Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the impulsive spending of the politicians. The waste of taxpayer money will continue. Unfortunately. What you can and should do is take your asset protection into your own hands.

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