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Retail

French Retailer Casino Changes Leadership Team As Boss Naouri's Era Ends

By Reuters
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French Retailer Casino Changes Leadership Team As Boss Naouri's Era Ends

Food retailer Casino said on Thursday it had completed its financial restructuring and a new leadership team formed around Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky was taking control, ending the 30-year reign of Casino's owner Jean-Charles Naouri.

France's seventh-largest supermarket group by market share was brought to the verge of default after years of debt-fuelled acquisitions and recent losses in market share to rivals.

The restructuring of Casino by a Kretinsky-led consortium massively dilutes the stake of current shareholders, most notably Naouri, who led Groupe Casino by controlling it through his holding company Rallye.

New Casino Board

Casino said the completion of the restructuring resulted in a change of control and a new board was named, with former French secretary of state for pensions and Auchan executive Laurent Pietraszewski becoming chairman of the new Casino board, while former Metro and Lactalis executive Philippe Palazzi becomes chief executive.

Casino's new executive committee includes Angelique Cristofari, a former Louis Delhaize finance chief who becomes the supermarket group's chief financial officer.

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A June 11 shareholder meeting will be asked to ratify all these appointments.

In a statement, Casino said that the next steps in the group's financial restructuring involve resuming the trading of Casino shares at market opening on 28 March, while in April 2024, the Group will proceed with transactions related to Casino's share capital. This includes implementing a reverse share split, where one hundred (100) ordinary shares with a par value of one euro cent (€0.01) each will be exchanged for one (1) new share with a par value of one (1) euro each.

Additionally, Casino's share capital will be reduced by decreasing the par value of the shares issued from one euro (€1.00) to one euro cent (€0.01) per share.

In February, Casino reported a consolidated net loss of €5.7 billion for 2023, widening from €316 million the previous year, and said it will not publish a revised 2024 forecast due to an imminent change in leadership.

Additional reporting by ESM

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