Garant Schuh + Mode ran into financial problems after acquiring Salamander, and the terms of the acquisition are still under scrutiny. Thus, German observers cannot avoid tracing a link between the problems of Garant, which are about to end, and those that have now started for Egana Goldpfeil, the Hong Kong-based company that bought the international shoe retail chain in 2005. It had already bought Sioux, which was then a subsidiary of Salamander, back in November 2003.

Egana Goldpfeil’s value on the Hong Kong stock exchange has fallen by more than 60 percent since company managers and creditors placed in doubt its accounts for the first half of 2007. KPMG has been asked to look at the books and David Wai Kwong Wong has lost his job as executive director and company secretary of Egana Goldpfeil, because of possible alleged conflicts of interest.

Wong, who has been charged by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption authorities in a previous role as consultant to another firm, Grand Field Group, denies the charges. He is a director of Peninsular International Ltd., the major shareholder of Egana Goldpfeil with a 30 percent stake, and a partner in the company together with Egana Goldpfeil’s chairman, Hans-Jörg Seeberger.

Seeberger has been reported to be living in Spain due to a disease that has kept him out of his office since last April. He had already passed on the title of chief executive to Michael Richard last November. Jürgen Holzschuh, 41, has now been appointed to replace Wong with immediate effect. He is finance director of Egana Goldpfeil Europe, based in Offenbach, and managing director of Salamander. Egana Goldpfeil Europe is said to be negotiating with local financial institutions to extend their credit lines in view of a credit squeeze from the banks in Hong Kong.