Cosmos is bankrupt

Austrian consumer electronics chain Cosmos is bankrupt after failing to obtain a forced settlement with creditors, according to the Alpine Land Credit Protection Association (AKV).It said prospective investors had decided to take a significantly reduced part of the Cosmos chain, 10 of its 27 stores would be closed and 400 workers would lose their jobs.Bankruptcy administrator Karl Engelhart said all of Cosmos’ 1,160 employees had been registered with the Labour Market Service (AMS) as likely to lose their jobs.The newspaper Kurier reported today that it might be possible to save 500 of them if new investors acquired part of Cosmos. Its manager Robert Knobl has reportedly been talking with prospective investors.The Association for Consumer Information (VKI) said today that people with Cosmos vouchers probably would not be able to use them anymore.VKI added that Cosmos’ guarantees of purchased products would lapse if the firm was liquidated but said manufacturers’ guarantees would remain in force.It also warned that Cosmos might refuse to exchange or take back products with defects.Cosmos, which was founded in 1975, has debts of around five million Euros. The company entered bankruptcy proceedings on 29 January after it failed in a month-long search to find an investor.Tyrolean brothers Harald and Markus Stauder recently took over the struggling firm but did not manage to find an investor. Talks with Turkey’s Sabanci family ended fruitlessly late last year.Experts have said the Vienna-based company – which competes with Germany’s Media Markt and Saturn among others in the Austrian market – will be able to find investors.Cosmos had losses of 11 million Euros in its 2008 business year.