The Casino Group close to being bailed out by the Kretinsky-Ladreit de Lacharrière duo

Although it is still a little early to declare victory, the Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky (indirect shareholder of the World), ociated with Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, is now ideally placed to take over the Casino group, which is in serious difficulty. The rival consortium called 3F, led by Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pige (individual shareholders of the World) and by Moez-Alexandre Zouari announced on Sunday July 16 in the evening that he was renouncing to submit a final offeraimed at bailing out the owner of Monoprix, Franprix and CDiscount.

Mr. Kretinsky and his partner, for their part, submitted a new proposal on Saturday morning which must be detailed, early Monday afternoon, during a meeting organized under the aegis of the CIRI (Interministerial Committee for Industrial Restructuring ) with the distributor’s creditors. Casino will hold its board of directors in stride, no doubt to broadly support the plan of the Czech buyer, even if it could seek to obtain additional arrangements or commitments.

“Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and myself plan to bring in 900 million euros in new money and the creditors will have the possibility of subscribing to new shares – under the same conditions as us – up to nearly 300 million euros. ‘euro’Mr. Kretinsky said in an interview with Echoes. At the same time, the consortium is requesting the conversion of 4.7 billion euros of debt in shares, out of a total of 7.6 billion euros, less than in its initial project, in order to satisfy creditors.

maintain employment

As the government had requested, the buyers undertake to maintain employment in France (where the workforce reaches 50,000 employees), to preserve the headquarters of Saint-Etienne and to aim to keep as many hypermarkets and of supermarkets. Mr. Kretinsky also specifies, to the Echoes that Jean-Charles Naouri, the CEO and current owner, will no longer be the executive boss of the group but “I wish he had a role”says the Czech.

The stated objective of the conciliators Marc Sénéchal and Aurélia Perdereau is to reach an agreement in principle before July 27. In all likelihood, an accelerated safeguard procedure should open in September. Bankers, bondholders and other debt funds will be called upon to vote in this context. Even if heavy sacrifices are required of them, the prospect of a liquidation – which would be inevitable for lack of fresh money injected quickly into a group with bloodless cash flow – should encourage a majority of two-thirds of creditors to favor the lifeline. tended by Mr. Kretinsky and Mr. de Lacharrière. This does not exclude the triggering of litigation on the part of certain dissatisfied debt holders.

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