The announcement was expected. The distributor of Saint-Etienne origin Casino has formalized its entry into a conciliation procedure following a decision of the president of the commercial court of Paris dated May 25, according to a statement published on Friday.
This amicable procedure, decided for a period of four months "possibly extendable by one month", should allow Casino, indebted to the tune of 6.4 billion euros at the end of 2022 including 4.5 on its activity in France, to conclude an agreement with its creditors for a potential restructuring of its debt.
" READ ALSO Very indebted, the Casino group bets on its next rescue by renegotiating with its creditors
Casino specifies that this procedure "concerns only the financial debt of the company" and certain subsidiaries and "will not affect the group's relations with its operational partners (in particular its suppliers) and employees".
More than a hundred points of sale sold
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 - including Monoprix and Franprix - 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.
In parallel with the opening of the entry into conciliation, Casino announced this Friday an agreement 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 sales "will take place by the end of this year," says Casino.