The distributor of Saint-Etienne origin Casino announced this Friday to sell a significant number of stores to Intermarché. An agreement has indeed been reached with the third French distributor for the sale of more than a hundred points of sale "from the Casino France perimeter", including hypermarkets, supermarkets and local brands, weighing a little more than a billion euros in turnover. The first disposals "will take place by the end of this year," says Casino.
At the same time, the group formalized its entry into a conciliation procedure following a decision by the president of the Paris Commercial Court dated May 25, according to a statement Friday announcing the resumption of the listing of the share on the stock exchange. This amicable procedure, decided for a period of four months "possibly extendable by one month" should allow the company, indebted to the tune of 6.4 billion euros at the end of 2022, including 4.5 billion on its activity in France, to conclude an agreement with its creditors for a potential restructuring of its debt.
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A procedure on financial debt
The President of the Paris Commercial Court has decided to open on May 25, 2023 a conciliation procedure for the benefit of Casino and its subsidiaries including Monoprix and Franprix, "for an initial period of four months, possibly extendable by one month," the group said in the statement. Casino specifies that this procedure "concerns only the financial debt of the company" and certain subsidiaries and "will have no impact on the group's relations with its operational partners (in particular its suppliers) and employees".
This announcement was expected since Casino requested Tuesday the suspension of the listing of its shares "pending the publication of a press release and until further notice", while the rating agencies have downgraded the rating of its debt in recent weeks in anticipation of a restructuring. Casino, which employs more than 50,000 people in France and 200,000 worldwide under many brands, has been struggling for years to get out of debt, so far without success.
The group, powerful in Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes, nevertheless arouses covetousness, on the part of billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as well as the distribution group Teract, whose majority shareholder is the agri-food giant InVivo. At the end of April, the third largest supermarket chain in France, Intermarché, joined the talks that were supposed to be concluded by the end of May.