The future of Casino once again before the Paris commercial court.
Seven days after a first hearing adjourned at the request of the unions, the court is considering this Monday the draft accelerated safeguard plan for the distributor in financial difficulties.
The Central Social Economic Committee (CSEC) asked last week to postpone the debates for a week, to try to remedy the absence of a “social component” in the safeguard plan.
CSEC lawyers argued that such a component is mandatory when job reductions are considered.
Unions estimate that 6,000 jobs are at risk.
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However, between the time this safeguard plan was negotiated and today, the group has “topped off” with its competitors Auchan, Intermarché and Carrefour to sell them 288 large stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets.
A large-scale operation which will result in the transfer of some 12,800 employees and which will have serious consequences for the support functions within what will remain of the group.
The distributor signed an agreement in July providing for the restructuring of its debt and a change in shareholding by March April 2024. It is the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, the Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and the British fund Attestor, who must in take orders on this date.
On Wednesday evening, the group's inter-union declared that voluntary departure plans, within a scope to be negotiated, within the entities covered by a job protection plan had been promised by the representatives of the consortium of buyers.
In addition, dismissed employees will be able to benefit from “supra-legal” compensation, reported the inter-union, which however expects that these will be “the subject of a precise, quantified and concrete commitment from the consortium”.
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The court has until the end of the accelerated safeguard period on February 25 to approve the plan.
Then, the various capital increases must take place in March and a general meeting of new shareholders must immediately decide on the new composition of the board of directors.
As for the stores sold, they will be done in three successive waves, on April 30, May 31 and July 1.
Then there would remain the network of more than 6,000 local stores in the regions under the Spar, Vival or Le Petit Casino brands, which in 2022 represented 1.5 billion euros in turnover.
As well as the e-retailer Cdiscount, with lackluster results, a thousand Franprix stores worth 1.5 billion euros in annual sales, and Monoprix.