VIENNA, Nov 29 — Austrian real estate giant Signa — whose vast portfolio includes New York’s iconic Chrysler building — today announced it would initiate insolvency proceedings, filing for court protection as it undergoes restructuring.

“Despite considerable efforts in recent weeks, the necessary liquidity for an out-of-court restructuring could not be sufficiently secured, so Signa Holding GmbH is applying for restructuring proceedings with self-administration,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Signa said it would present plans for the company’s restructuring by the end of the month.

Rene Benko — one of Austria’s richest men — founded Signa in 2000 and has grown it into a conglomerate with interests from real estate to media.

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In its press release on Wednesday, Signa said its retail investments “did not bring the expected success” with the sector under “severe economic pressure” in Europe, while also citing a “negative impact on business development in the real estate sector in recent months”.

The company said it would initiate insolvency proceedings at a Vienna court today.

“The aim is the orderly continuation of operational business operations within the framework of self-administration and the sustainable restructuring of the company,” it added.

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The restructuring proceedings fall under insolvency proceedings in Austria.

Several Signa projects, including the construction of a landmark high-rise in Germany, have ground to a halt, as the construction sector is hit by higher borrowing costs and surging material prices.

With offices in Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland, Signa has holdings worth €27 billion (RM138 billion) and projects worth €25 billion in development, according to its website. — AFP