Nov. 29, 2023 11:05 am ET

The property slump sweeping the globe has claimed a new high-profile victim: René Benko, an Austrian-born retail and department-store magnate who also co-owns New York’s Chrysler Building.

Benko’s main holding company, Signa Holding, said Wednesday it is filing for insolvency in Austria. The proceed, similar to U.S. bankruptcy procedure, puts billions of dollars of company debt at risk and casts uncertainty over a property empire that includes stakes in the largest department store chains in Europe, upscale British retailer Selfridges and a now-stalled Hamburg tower that would have been among the tallest in Germany.

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