Groupe Casino Challenges Standard & Poor's Rating Downgrade

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
Groupe Casino Challenges Standard & Poor's Rating Downgrade

Groupe Casino has sought to challenge Standard & Poor's downgrade of the retailer's financial rating by one notch to BB, negative perspective.

The group said that the rating agency's assessment does not take into account an ongoing €1.5 billion disposal plan at the business, and that the rating change has no impact on the cost of Casino's bond debt, and does not affect its liquidity.

The rating change came following a share price decline sparked by a tweet by short seller Muddy Waters Research, which indicated that Groupe Casino's Finance subsidiary had not yet filed its 2017 accounts.


In a statement, Groupe Casino said that the Casino stock price is the 'object of speculative repeated attacks', a veiled reference to Muddy Waters' comments.

'It has reviewed the analysis provided by financial advisers of the company and observes that the Group has operational resilience, financial strength and immediately accessible ressources, which are not reflected in the current stock price.'

It said that as of 30 June 2018, Casino in France had €5.5 billion liquidity, and it has bought back €128 million worth of bonds since the beginning of July.


It confirmed its objective of achieving €1 billion net debt reduction in France by end 2018, to €2.7 billion, taking into account the proceeds of the ongoing disposal plan and its operational cash-flow.

It also reiterated its strong sales performance in France and Latin America since the start of the year, confirming its annual objectives for the full year.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.