(News Bulletin 247) – The distribution group announced on Friday that it was entering into a conciliation procedure to renegotiate its debt and that it was going to sell stores in several waves that could represent a total of 1.5 billion euros in turnover. tax-free business at the Les Mousquetaires group.

Casino plunges back into the stock market. The action of the heavily indebted distributor – with net debt of more than 5 billion euros at the end of March at the group level – fell on Friday, yielding 5.6% around 10:20 a.m. after losing more than 10% at the start of the session. .

This new stock market boom follows several announcements by the company. The company formalized Friday morning the opening of a conciliation procedure which should allow it to renegotiate its debt with its creditors. Two conciliators were appointed, master Aurélia Perdereau and master Marc Sénéchal. This conciliation will last four months and may be extended for an additional month.

It should be recalled that as part of his proposal, namely a bailout of Casino’s capital to the tune of 1.1 billion euros (including 750 million euros provided by his personal holding company), the Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky set as a precondition a “very substantial” reduction in the distribution group’s gross unsecured debt. At the same time, Casino is discussing a merger with Teract – a subsidiary of the agricultural cooperative InVivo and owner of Jardiland and Gamm vert – discussions to which the Groupement Les Mousquetaires (Intermarché) has joined.

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Store sales but no “game changer”

Precisely, the other announcement from Casino concerns sales of stores to this group. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell it in two installments points of sale in its French perimeter, which would represent 549 million in turnover excluding tax for the first wave. The first sales of this tranche will take place by the end of the year.

For the second tranche, Casino has undertaken to sell stores at the consortium’s request within a maximum of three years. These stores would constitute 502 million euros in turnover excluding taxes. “Upon signing the binding agreements, the Les Mousquetaires group would pay Casino an initial lump sum payment of 100 million euros, which would be deducted from the final price calculated on the market value of the assets”, writes the company.

In addition, the Les Mousquetaires group has undertaken, in the event that Casino so requests, to buy a third tranche of stores representing 461 million euros in turnover excluding tax. “Les Mousquetaires would pay Casino a first lump sum payment of 90 million euros upon exercise of this promise, which would be deducted from the final price calculated on the market value of the assets”, specifies Casino.

However, the group did not specify the total amount that it could withdraw from these disposals. The echoes argue that it could amount to a third of turnover or 500 million euros in total, a figure that Casino, surveyed by News Bulletin 247, did not comment on.

“In total, Casino could withdraw between 300 million and 500 million euros for the first two tranches and 150 million to 250 million for the third”, considers for its part a financial intermediary.

“In the end, neither the entry into conciliation nor these transfers constitute a ‘game changer’ for Casino, which remains strangled by an unsustainable debt. catch up with the fall in the market”, continues this financial intermediary, questioned about the fall in the action.

Casino action was indeed suspended Thursday and especially Wednesday, the day when the CAC 40 had lost 1.7%. It only reopened Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Another analyst notes that if discussions are progressing with the Les Mousquetaires group “there is no new development with Teract, which the market can interpret as a negative sign”.