The French branch of Belgian restaurant chain Exki has filed an application for judicial reorganisation and has been granted it. The chain now wants to renegotiate with the property owners of its outlets.
Exki's French subsidiary, which has 21 of its restaurants and as many franchise outlets, is resorting to judicial reorganisation because it has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. "We have lost 80 per cent of our turnover, which amounted to 150 million euros in 2019. We have had to close 70 per cent of our restaurants. We need oxygen," marketing director David Esseryk told French newspaper Zepros.
The court protection measure now allows the company to renegotiate the tenancy contracts. At the moment, the chain is still paying full amounts for rent, much to Esseryk's annoyance. "Which business could stay closed for a year without generating any income? After all, takeaways only account for 10 per cent of our turnover. In Belgium and Luxembourg, we were able to negotiate with the landlords. Why can't we do that in France?", he asks himself.
In September of last year, Exki's shareholders injected another 3 million euros of new capital into the company. That money was primarily intended for continuing investments in renovations and digitalisation. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, it was impossible to make those investments without additional funds.