Cosmos creditors endorse speedy shutdown

Creditors of bankrupt Cosmos welcomed the decision to close down all branches of the electronic consumer goods chain, according to a lobbyist.Wolfgang Hrobar of the Alpine Creditors’ Protection Association (AKV) said today (Mon) the broke company’s more than 1,500 creditors were happy about the decision to shut all 27 shops since it ensured personnel and rent costs wouldn’t soar further.The 1,509 creditors have called for an overall 75 million Euros in compensation after the final sale at the Cosmos branch in Brunn am Gebirge, Lower Austria, ended last Friday.Hrobar added the chain’s 1,156 employees want 1.43 million Euros in unpaid wages.The Austrian firm, which was founded in 1975, is to be liquidated after it was found it had debts of around five million Euros. Cosmos entered bankruptcy proceedings in January after failing to find an investor for months.Cosmos had losses of 11 million Euros in its 2008 business year. Its demise is one of Austria’s biggest business bankruptcies so far this year.Vienna’s Commercial Court will start dealing with the case this Wednesday.Upper Austrian officials meanwhile said it will set up a bankruptcy foundation to help the 50-odd people sacked after having worked for cosmos in the province.Upper Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) economy councillor Viktor Sigl said yesterday the dismissed employees were given the chance to take re-education courses of up to four years. Sigl added the main focus of the courses was their quick re-integration onto the labour market.