Otto buys Quelle Russia, other Quelle brands


Hamburg, Germany-based Otto Group is adding to its Russian
holdings with its acquisition of Quelle Russia from insolvent
German cataloguer/retailer Arcandor. Otto is also purchasing the
rights to the Quelle brand and related brands for Germany and
other Central and Eastern European countries. Both deals are
subject to approval by the Russian and European antitrust
authorities.

Otto entered the Russian market in 1990. In addition to mailing
its Otto, Bonprix, and Witt catalogues there, last year Otto
acquired three Russian brands-NaDom, Meggy Mall, and Health &
Beauty-as well as logistics company Promo Post from Russian
Direct Group. Otto mails into nearly two dozen other countries as
well. In the UK its titles include Freemans, Grattan, and
Bonprix. It also owns the majority stake of US
cataloguer/retailer Crate & Barrel.

Arcandor began liquidating its German Quelle unit last month
after it failed to find a buyer. The company’s administrator said
it would continue to seek buyers for Quelle’s Swiss, Austrian,
and Eastern European units, as well as for Arcandor’s Primondo
catalogues, which mail into 13 countries. The Primondo brands
include fashion titles Afibel and Peter Hahn in the UK and
Hessnatur in the US.

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