Germany's Max Bahr DIY chain has filed for insolvency, dashing hopes that it might be able to survive the collapse two weeks ago of parent Praktiker
, the country's third-largest home improvement retailer.
At the time, Praktiker said Max Bahr would not be affected by its own bankruptcy proceedings or those of sister retailer Extra Bau + Hobby. However, the move sent jitters through Max Bahr's suppliers' credit insurers, which have now pulled out of their contracts. The lack of insurance meant that a "steady supply of goods to Max Bahr stores is no longer guaranteed," Praktiker said.
Praktiker's international businesses are unaffected by the proceedings.
Max Bahr, which trades from 132 stores and has 3,700 employees in Germany - over 5,000 in total - was bought by Praktiker in 2007. While Praktiker itself has been persistently loss-making, Max Bahr had been seen as a more secure business - and likely to benefit in the future from the failure of its parent.
Now, the slack is certain to be picked up by rivals such as Hornbach, Germany's leading DIY retailer, and in which B&Q owner Kingfisher has a 21% stake.
Praktiker's insolvency is reportedly the biggest in German retail since the bankruptcy of drugstore chain Schlecker in January 2012.