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Karlheinz Essl steps away from Baumax

Karlheinz Essl steps away from Baumax

Baumax founder Karlheinz Essl who hit the headlines earlier this year after he offered to sell his large art collection to Austria to help raise capital for his business, has stepped down as the chair of the company's Supervisory Board.

He has replaced himself with his son Martin Essl, who has been CEO of the DIY chain since 1999.

Seventy-four-year-old Karlheinz Essl, now no longer has any function in the company, which he founded over 40 years ago. BauMax has 65 retail stores in Austria and branches around eastern Europe and Turkey and is thought to be in debt to creditors.

Essl had been hoping that together with support from the bank, the money raised from the sale of his 7000-strong art collection would help to restructure bauMax and save jobs. A round table discussion between Essl, government officials and bank representatives went positively a few weeks ago according to government spokespeople, although once all the options of a state purchase were explored, Essl decided to take his offer off the table.

Further to Martin Essl, the control panel of the home improvement chain also has Rudolf Humer as his Deputy and former BAWAG Vorständin Regina Prehofer, Erik Eckert and Michael Lentsch are also on the board.

Next week the company is due to published a balance sheet for 2013 and a revised recovery plan.

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