28 July 2023

Casino enters into an agreement with Křetínský

Casino today announced the successful conclusion of a long-awaited debt restructuring agreement with its creditors, led by Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský, thus avoiding bankruptcy. The company's board of directors approved the agreement with Křetínský, partner Fimalac and lender Attestor Capital, which aims to revitalise the company and reduce its debt burden.

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As part of the deal, Casino will receive an injection of EUR 1.2 billion in new funds, which will facilitate the restructuring of its existing EUR 6.4 billion debt. Following the recapitalisation process, the consortium led by Daniel Křetínský will eventually own a significant stake, ranging between 50.4% and 53% of the company. This restructuring plan represents a significant step towards stabilising the financial situation of the food chain and ensuring its future economic viability. Křetínský also intends to increase the marketing budget, improve in-store services and strengthen online shopping options.

Casino, France's sixth-largest food retailer and employing 53,000 people in the country, had been under the control of Jean-Charles Naouri for decades, who contributed significantly to its growth but saddled it with a substantial debt of €6.4 billion. In an effort to avoid bankruptcy, the company engaged in voluntary negotiations with creditors to restructure its debt. Although Casino is struggling financially and losing market share to competitors, its convenience stores in central Paris and on the Côte d'Azur are still considered valuable assets. The company's problems have been exacerbated in part by underperforming hypermarkets in non-urban areas.

Křetínský, who studied in France, has already invested in the country several times in the energy sector. In addition, his company Czech Media Invest (CMI) revealed in April its plans to acquire French publisher Editis from media company Vivendi.