(News Bulletin 247) – The listing of Casino shares remained suspended Monday on the Paris Stock Exchange, at the company’s request and pending a press release, while 3F Holding decided this weekend to withdraw its offer recovery from the distributor.

According to several market sources, 3F Holding – the investment vehicle of the trio made up of Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Moez-Alexandre Zouari – would have finally given up filing a takeover project on the Saint-Etienne group.

According to these same sources, the three businessmen would deplore the lack of information and a ‘biased’ process, criticizing in particular Casino for not having transmitted data concerning its forecasts in terms of results and liquidity needs by at the end of the year, Cdiscount’s performance and all off-balance sheet commitments.

For the record, the retail specialist, in great financial difficulty, had set a deadline of July 14 in the evening for potential candidates to submit their revised restructuring offers.

The withdrawal of 3F therefore leaves the field open to the competing project carried by the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who tabled a revised offer this weekend which should be examined today by the board of directors.

According to analysts, this new offer would include an injection of fresh money of 1.2 billion euros (against 1.35 billion previously) accompanied by a debt conversion of 4.9 billion euros into shares.

‘This is bad news for shareholders and the valuation of Casino’, react AlphaValue analysts in a note released in the early afternoon.

‘Kretinsky said he was ready for Mr. Naouri to retain a ‘respectable role’ within Casino after the takeover change.

‘But he made it clear that his consortium was aiming for an absolute majority so that the new strategy could not be called into question,’ concludes the consultancy.

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