In total, Casino is divesting itself of more than a hundred of its stores. The distributor, which is experiencing financial difficulties, announced on Friday that it was selling these brands to the Intermarché group, the third largest player in food distribution in France. This announcement comes in parallel with the formalization of its entry into a conciliation procedure.
Casino plans to sell more than a hundred hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores with a total turnover of €1.15 billion. They will be "broken down into two perimeters", a first part, weighing about 600 million euros in turnover including tax, whose "first disposals will take place by the end of this year". And a second, weighing 550 million euros of turnover subject to a commitment by Casino to sell them "at the request" of Intermarché, "at the latest within three years", "this period may be accelerated by Casino".
And the complementary number... €500 million
Casino states that, "upon signature of the binding agreements, the Les Mousquetaires group would pay Casino a first lump sum payment of 100 million euros, which would be deducted from the final price calculated on the market value of the assets". In addition, Intermarché has "undertaken to acquire", if Casino so requests, "an additional volume of stores representing 500 million euros in turnover".
This additional option "may be exercised by the Casino Group for a period of three years". During a telephone press briefing, the group's chief financial officer David Lubek did not specify the number of stores concerned, referring to "mainly supermarkets and hypermarkets located in areas considered non-priority" for Casino, whose core business is located in Ile-de-France, Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
A minority stake in the round table
This transfer of stores is a cause for concern for employee representatives because the group structures are different between Casino, an integrated group with an important social dialogue, and Intermarché, where social policy depends on each store owner since the brand is a group of independents.
Casino also specifies that Intermarché "will also participate, under conditions of minority participation, in the future round table of the Casino group, with an equity investment of 100 million euros". Casino states that this agreement is "compatible with the discussions currently underway with Teract on the industrial project initiated a few months ago, as well as with any additional capital operations likely to strengthen the Casino Group's equity".
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