The announcement was expected. The distributor from Saint-Etienne Casino formalized its entry into conciliation proceedings following a decision by the president of the Paris commercial court dated May 25, according to a press release published on Friday. In the aftermath, the group saw its shares fall by 9%.
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 with a view to a potential restructuring of its debt.
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”.
More than a hundred points of sale sold
This announcement has been expected since Casino requested, on 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, in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and in Rhône-Alpes, nevertheless arouses envy, on the part of the billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as well as the distribution group Teract, whose majority shareholder is the agrifood giant InVivo. At the end of April, the third supermarket chain in France, Intermarché, joined the discussions supposed to be completed 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 convenience stores, with a turnover of just over one billion euros. The first transfers “will take place by the end of this year”, indicates Casino.