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Retail

France's Groupe Casino Needs Equity Contribution Of 'At Least €900m'

By Reuters
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France's Groupe Casino Needs Equity Contribution Of 'At Least €900m'

French supermarket retailer Casino said it aims to conclude a debt restructuring agreement with its creditors by the end of next month, telling creditors it needed an equity contribution of 'at least' €900 million.

Casino and the holders of its €6.4 billion worth of debt kicked off formal talks earlier this month as the group races to stay afloat through divestments and an agreement to defer taxes and social charges with the government.

The firm's consultancy Accuracy "does not anticipate any liquidity issue" until late October, when the legal conciliation period with creditors ends, Casino said, adding that a recently announced sale of an equity stake in Brazil's Assai would likely raise net proceeds after costs and taxes of €326 million.

Debt Repayments

Casino added that, assuming the continuation of the standstill of financial charges and debt repayments after the conciliation period and taking into account the sale of some supermarkets to the company Les Mousquetaires, there would not be any liquidity issues until the end of the 2023 financial year.

'Creditors who have not already done so have been invited to organise themselves to facilitate further discussions with the group', Casino said.

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Casino currently faces two rivalling €1.1 billion bid proposals to boost its equity base, with one from its main shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri, teaming up with French tycoon Xavier Niel, and another from billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere.

Sales Performance

For full-year 2023, Groupe Casino is expecting sales of €15.304 billion from its French operations, including CDiscount, which is down from €15.825 billion in 2022, it said in a trading update.

By 2024, however, sales are expected to reach €16.568 billion, it said, while it anticipates 2025 sales of €17.424 billion and 2028 sales of €18.805 billion. Theses figures exclude its planned store disposal to Intermarché parent Les Mousquetaires.

Commenting on its hypermarket and supermarket performance, Casino said that volumes remain negative, while sales are also being negatively impacted by price reductions.

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In April, the group reported a 7.5% decline in sales across its France Retail operations, as its hypermarket and supermarket business reported a 17.7% decline, compared to a 1.9% increase at its premium and convenience banners (including Franprix and Monoprix).

In May, total sales in France Retail were 6.0% lower, with a 2.3% increase in premium and convenience banners dragged down by a 14.6% drop in hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Commenting on its hypermarket and supermarket performance, Casino said that volumes remain negative, while sales are also being negatively impacted by price reductions.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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