Casino Seals Lock-Up On Debt Rescue Deal Led By Daniel Kretinsky

By Reuters
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Casino Seals Lock-Up On Debt Rescue Deal Led By Daniel Kretinsky

Groupe Casino has finalised a binding lock-up agreement to restructure its debt with creditors led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

French retailer Casino, which was brought to the verge of default after years of debt-fuelled deals and recent losses in market share to rival supermarket groups, said the binding agreement was reached with the consortium led by Kretinsky's company EPGC – alongside Casino's biggest creditor Attestor, and second-biggest shareholder Fimalac, and along with secured creditors while discussions with unsecured creditors continue.

Debt Reduction

The lockup finalises a July agreement in principle which called for €1.2 billion of new money which would be injected into Casino, as well as a reduction of Casino's debt by €6.1 billion.

Casino shares, which had been suspended, will also resume trading on Thursday.

The deal, which massively dilutes shareholders, would bring an end to the 30-year reign of Casino CEO and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri, 74, who controls Casino via his listed holding company Rallye.


'A Major Milestone'

"Casino has reached a major milestone in its financial restructuring process by obtaining the agreement of its main creditors on a financial restructuring plan that creates a favourable framework for the sustainability of the group's activities, the continuation of jobs and head offices, and the continued development of all its brands," Naouri said in a statement.

Casino said it planned to pursue its discussions with the financial creditors not yet party to the lock-up agreement to obtain their adherence to the latter.

Read More: Casino Seals Sale Of First Batch Of 61 Stores To Les Mousquetaires

Additional reporting by ESM

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