DECRYPTION – In the summer of 2014, its shares in the Saint-Etienne distributor were valued at 2.7 billion euros. The takeover of the group by Daniel Kretinsky will crush the shareholders.
It is the outcome of an odyssey of more than thirty years in m distribution. CEO and main shareholder of the Casino group, which he controls via a cascade of holding companies, Jean-Charles Naouri about to lose control. To find a solution to the unbearable debt (nearly 7 billion euros) which has weakened Casino for years, the board of directors accepted Monday evening the prospect of the takeover of the Saint-Etienne distributor by the trio formed by Daniel Kretinsky, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and the British fund Attestor. By bailing out Casino to the tune of 925 million eurosin return for the largest debt waiver ever negotiated in France, their consortium will hold 53% of the group.
The cascade of holdings put in place by Jean-Charles Naouri at the dawn of the 90s to ensure him control of the majority of Casino’s capital will no longer be of any use to him. Euris, his personal holding company, created in 1987, holds 92% of Finatis, which owns 90% of Foncière Euris. The latter controls 59% of Rallye, which umes 52% of Casino. Enough to allow the former chief of staff of Pierre Bérégovoy, a normalien and finance inspector considered a financial genius, to hold, on a personal basis, 25.4% of the Saint-Etienne distributor. In the summer of 2014, during the Casino stock market splendorthis share was valued at nearly 2.7 billion euros.
Since then, the professional fortune of Jean-Charles Naouri has melted at the same rate as Casino stock price. But the forthcoming restructuring will be another hard blow. “Casino shareholders will be mively diluted and Rallye will lose control of Casino“, had warned the group at the end of June. How much will Jean-Charles Naouri have left after taking control of his group? Communicators are not talkative on the subject. “The discussions on the offer and the conciliation procedure are still ongoing“, we argue. A caution that contrasts with the outspokenness shown by many observers of the case. “He will lose everything because the waterfall he built is about to collapse“, cowardly…