Berlin-based footwear company Görtz Beteiligungsgesellschaft plans to look for new capital that will strengthen the company's market position in the long term.
The sole owners of the 140-year-old company bearing their surname, the Ludwig Brothers, Friedrich and Thomas Görtz, want to find a suitable partner who would acquire a part or controlling interest and could help Görtz compete in the German shoe market. A new partner may be a foreigner, but he must have the knowledge necessary for competition in the local market. One of the reasons for the new course of action is the fact that the three brothers are aging and do not have an heir within the family who could take the decision-making. Now, the elder brother Ludwig Görtz, who is already 78 years old, is taking the most active part in the affairs of the company.
The financial position of the company is difficult today. In 2008, Görtz embarked on a large-scale expansion campaign in Germany, Switzerland and Poland, attracting investments of around € 25 million; but then, the company decided to leave the Polish market in order to concentrate on streamlining the operation of its German stores. Görtz closed 16 unprofitable stores last year, with 15 more due to close by the end of 2013. At the same time, 2012 new stores were opened on the German market in 6; and seven more are planned for 2013-14. The expansion campaign boosted sales from € 300 million in 2008, to € 330 million in 2009 and € 400 million in 2011; but in 2012, sales remained roughly at the 2011 level, and this year they are likely to fall to € 380 million.