Casino gives itself until May 23 before deciding on a conciliation procedure on its debt

The Casino group, plagued by debt problems and which announced in April that it was studying the possibility of opening a conciliation procedure with its creditors, will “extend the prior consultation period” until May 23 at 5 p.m., according to a statement released on Tuesday.

“The final decision to request the opening of a conciliation procedure remains subject to the approval of Casino’s board of directors”, specifies the group, indebted to the tune of 6.4 billion euros at the end of 2022, to which plus more than three billion in debt for the group’s parent company, Rallye.

This announcement comes as Thierry Blandinières, managing director of the InVivo group, which is Teract’s main shareholder, in line to take over Casino’s French activity, said on Tuesday that “a conciliator” would “be appointed on May 22. “at the bedside of the group of Etienne origin.

“We are entering the debt study phase” and “a conciliator will be appointed on May 22”, explained Mr. Blandinières on Radio Classique, adding that “from there, we will surely have better visibility of extent of Casino’s debt”.

The conciliation procedure is an amicable procedure that should allow the company in difficulty to reach an amicable agreement with its main creditors.

The distributor, which employs more than 50,000 people in France and 200,000 worldwide under many brands, including Monoprix or Franprix, has been struggling for years to get out of debt, so far without success.

Casino has been officially discussing since February a possible merger with Teract, whose majority shareholder is the agrifood giant InVivo and which has around the table of its board of directors the founder of Free Xavier Niel and the banker of business Matthieu Pigasse. At the end of April, the third supermarket chain in France, Intermarché, joined these discussions.

Daniel Kretinsky, already a 10% shareholder in Casino, also proposed on April 24 to inject 750 million euros into the group via a reserved capital increase of more than one billion euros in total.

Teract CEO Moez-Alexandre Zouari recently called on the Czech billionaire to work together.

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