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The Casino rescue plan scrutinized by the commercial court

2024-02-12T06:15:17.178Z

Highlights: The Paris commercial court must look into the rescue plan for the distributor in difficulty on Monday. Some 6,000 jobs would be threatened by the sale operations of the group's stores. According to the inter-union, voluntary departure plans have been promised by the buyers Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. The court granted the request of the CSEC (Central Social Economic Committee) to postpone the debates for a week, to try to remedy as much as possible the absence of a “social component” in the safeguard plan.


Some 6,000 jobs would be threatened by the sale operations of the group's stores. According to the inter-union, voluntary departure plans have been promised by the buyers Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.


A week to try to see more clearly about the jobs threatened at Casino: the Paris commercial court must look into the rescue plan for the distributor in difficulty on Monday, seven days after a first hearing adjourned at the request of the unions.

Directors of brands, representatives of management and buyers, who barring any major surprises will preside over the destiny of Casino by March/April, and representatives of the 50,000 employees in France: with the exception of Jean-Charles Naouri, CEO for yet a few weeks, they were all present in court last Monday for a public hearing on the future of the beleaguered group.

But the court granted the request of the CSEC (Central Social Economic Committee) to postpone the debates for a week, to try to remedy as much as possible the absence of a

“social component”

in the safeguard plan.

CSEC lawyers argued that such a component is mandatory when job reductions are considered.

However, between the time this safeguard plan was negotiated and today, the group has

“cooperativeed”

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.

Overall, unions estimate that 6,000 jobs are at risk.

Voluntary departure plans

At the end of the hearing on Monday, the CSEC lawyers indicated that they were waiting for the current management and the future management

“to be able to make commitments”

, which would not require renegotiating the rescue plan discussed for many months.

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 were promised by the representatives of the consortium of buyers, the billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, backed by the British fund Attestor.

In addition, dismissed employees will be able to benefit from

“supra-legal”

compensation , reported the inter-union, which however expects these to be

“the subject of a precise, quantified and concrete commitment from the consortium”

.

Françoise Maréchal Thieullent, one of the lawyers of the central CSE of Distribution Casino France (DCF), told AFP she hoped that

“commitments will be transmitted or reiterated before the court on Monday”

in terms of support for employees at risk of losing their jobs.

DCF is the entity in which Casino's commercial activity is housed in France.

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.

What will remain of Casino?

What will then remain of the Casino group?

Wednesday evening, the inter-union indicated that it had been informed by management that

“indications of interest”

from competitors had been received to acquire the 26 stores which interested neither Intermarché nor Auchan nor Carrefour, and in which a total of some 1,200 employees.

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 (including 75% franchise) with 1.5 billion euros in annual sales, and Monoprix.

The latter, an urban brand, has 20,000 employees and 800 stores under one of its five brands (Monoprix, monop', monop'beauty, Monoprix Maison and Naturalia), for an annual turnover of more than 4 billion euros. .

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2024-02-12

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