The restructuring of the Casino group has led to significant changes, including new shareholders and leaders, reduced debt, and a decrease in the number of stores. The group, which has its origins in Saint-Étienne and is over a hundred years old, is set to come under the control of billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, backed by the investment fund Attestor, by March/April. This will result in significant dilution of current shareholders, including the current CEO Jean-Charles Naouri. The plan has been widely approved by shareholders and creditors, with the main creditors already having given their preliminary approval in the summer of 2023.
However, the central economic and social committee of Casino France unanimously issued a “negative opinion” on the accelerated safeguard plan of the group, citing concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding its development. Despite this, the committee did not intend to take legal action, as their aim is not to push the company into judicial liquidation. The committee expressed regret that the plan did not include any social component while it involves the sale of half of the activity and an adjustment of the headquarters and supply chain workforce. They were planning to attend the court hearing in Paris, which was scheduled to take place in the early afternoon.
According to a union source, the plan is expected to be approved by the court. Casino stated that all conditions, including authorization from the European Commission under regulations on foreign subsidies, have been met. The accelerated safeguard period for Casino and its subsidiaries will end on February 25. Subsequent capital increases are set to take place in March, and a general meeting of the new shareholders will then determine the new composition of the board of directors.