Rallye, the owner of French retailers like Casino and Monoprix, is granted protection from creditors. The group is in serious financial difficulties and now has at least six months to settle its debts.
Complex financial structure
Holding company Rallye has a net debt of 2.9 billion euros, and it now has six to eighteen months to remedy that situation. The fight will be made more difficult by the lack of transparency in group's financial structure: main shareholder and CEO Jean-Charles Naouri controls the holding through two other investment companies, Finatis and Foncière Euris.
Casino owns the eponymous hypermarket chain, but also the Monoprix, Franprix, Géant and Go Sport chains. The retailer hopes to be able to continue working on its planned reforms in the new situation. The company has lost 70 % of its market value over the past five years as a result of speculation about the financial problems at the parent holding company. That problem should now be temporarily removed, so that Casino can concentrate on further divesting non-strategic components, restructuring the hypermarkets, opening convenience stores and expanding the Cdiscount e-commerce division.