Founder Pierre Mestre regains control of Orchestra Prémaman after a judicial reorganisation. This is good news for the Belgian branch of the baby chain, whose activities will be retained.
With the support of suppliers
Orchestra Prémaman has been fighting for survival for quite some time now, after a string of disappointing results - on top of which the corona crisis hit the company hard. In April, the company filed for judicial restructuring and started looking for investors or buyers. A buyer was eventually found close to home: founder Mestre paid 35.5 million euros to regain control of the company through the new holding Neworch. He has the support of a number of suppliers, franchisees and executives who enter into the capital.
For the Belgian employees of the chain, this is good news as the only other takeover candidate, the Saudi group Al-Othaim, wanted to end the Belgian activities. The social committee of Orchestra Prémaman, however, has already announced that it is going to appeal: they call it "a bit too easy to take over a company that one has brought into trouble".
Mestre wants to remain active with the chain in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Morocco, Spain and Switzerland. He plans to keep 430 stores, of which 257 in France. In total, the group expects that 3,769 jobs out of 4520 will be saved.