A European derivatives committee said on Monday that a bankruptcy credit event has not occurred in relation to France's debt-laden Groupe Casino, dashing investor hopes for a payout on credit insurance linked to the retailer.
The EMEA Credit Derivatives Determination Committee (CDDC) met on Friday to discuss the question raised by an investor, it said on its website.
Talks With Creditors
The French retailer said last month it had entered court-backed talks with creditors after receiving their consent to open a court process known as conciliation without triggering a default under the terms of Casino issued bonds.
The CDDC said on Monday that in reaching its decision, it had considered previous cases including Casino's holding company, Rallye.
The committee said it had also considered features of French conciliation, noting that the process was designed to result in a full consensual agreement with creditors. But if a partial agreement is reached, this does not bind creditors who do not consent, meaning that other ways to get them on board would be sought, it noted.
Additionally, under French law, the opening of a conciliation procedure would override events of default in the debt instruments, the statement added.
However, the CDDC concluded that this alone was not sufficient to trigger a bankruptcy credit event.
A separate question was posed to the committee on Friday on whether a "failure to pay" credit event had occurred for Casino. The committee has not decided yet whether to accept the question.
Credit Default Swaps
A number of circumstances can constitute a credit event, which can trigger a payout on credit default swaps which insure against losses from exposure to corporate or sovereign debt.
There were $428 million of net notional Casino CDS outstanding as of May 19, according to data from securities clearing and settlement firm DTCC.
Casino has been laden with debt for several years following a string of acquisitions and by declining revenue and loss of market share in an increasingly competitive domestic market.