Casino Shares Shine Amid Hopes Of Higher Rescue Offers

By Reuters
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Casino Shares Shine Amid Hopes Of Higher Rescue Offers

Casino shares rose by over 9%, lifted by the prospect that rival bidders would raise their offers to rescue the cash-strapped French retailer.

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is vying against a consortium led by telecoms entrepreneur Xavier Niel, investment banker Matthieu Pigasse and businessman Moez-Alexandre Zouari to take control of Casino, which is saddled with net debt of €6.4 billion) and teetering on the brink of default.

Pigasse told French daily Les Echos on Tuesday that 3F's offer would be raised, without giving further details.

Les Echos added that Kretinsky would also raise his offer. Kretinsky's representatives could not be immediately reached for comment while Casino declined to comment.


So far, Kretinsky is leading a €1.35-billion investment plan to rescue Casino, dwarfing a €900 million proposal put forward by 3F Holding.

Cash Injections

However, the proposed cash injections are only the first step in Casino's wide-ranging restructuring plan, which it has said will require a deal with debt holders within a court-led process. The deadline for an agreement in principle on the terms of the financial restructuring has been set for 27 July.

By 09:02 GMT Casino shares gained 9.6% at €3.28, having fallen 69% so far this year.

"I expect both parties to try to upgrade their offer on the cash injection front while strongly reiterating their industrial and jobs commitments to satisfy the French government," said Bryan Garnier analyst Clément Genelot.


"A €1 billion cash injection doesn't look enough to allow a sustainable recovery at Casino France," he said, adding required investments across the network of hypermarkets and supermarkets as well as the Monoprix chain would need a €2.5- €3 billion cash injection.

The French government is concerned about possible job cuts at Casino, France's sixth-largest retailer. The group had about 50,000 employees in the country at the end of last year.

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