La Redoute saved (for now)

La Redoute saved (for now)

Mail order company La Redoute will live on after the largest labour union has now accepted the plan after the court had almost bankrupted the company.

Take-over deal hanging by a thread

Nathalie Balla (La Redoute CEO) and Eric Courteille (Redcats CFO) had announced in December they would put in an offer on La Redoute, as Kering (former PPR) wanted to get rid of the company and had put the onerous French mail order up for sale.

 

The duo topped three other candidates as they know the company and more particularly the labour unions through and through. Balla and Courteille will pay a symbolic euro for the necessitous company and Kering will add 520 million euro to that, with 320 million euro to transform the group logistically.

 

The other 200 million euro will be used to soften the social blow as the new owners' reorganization plan will cut 1,178 out of 3,437 La Redoute jobs and 172 out of 569 jobs at affiliate company Relais Colis.

 

There was one condition to get that money: the labour unions had to sign the social agreement and because that signature did not come, an ultimatum was given. If the signature failed to arrive by last Friday, Kering would not hand over the money and Balla-Courteille would refuse to purchase the company. That would have meant La Redoute would have to go bankrupt.

 

CFE-CGC had signed on Thursday, but CFDT refused, which angered a large part of the employees as they feared for a social blood bath. The labour union leader even received death threats and had to be given police protection.

 

In the afternoon, it was stated that the labour union had asked the courts to postpone a decision until Monday. If no agreement had been reached by then, a liquidator had to go to work, but CFDT folded on Monday after it had managed to get additional promises during the weekend.

 

That means La Redoute can continue, with Kering signing the sale by the end of April to allow Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille to start their industrial project, which is based on a "rather realistic business plan, with losses in the first two years, but an actual restart after that". That is the hopeful message out of Northern France.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Carlsberg's turnover increases despite lower volumes

16/08/2017

In the first half of the year, Danish beer brewer Carlsberg’s turnover grew 2 % to 31.8 billion krona (4.3 billion euro). The improves sales for its more expensive beers, like Grimbergen, contributed to this turnover increase.

Losses keep growing for HelloFresh

14/08/2017

Over the course of the first half of 2017, meal box delivery service HelloFresh has seen both its turnover and its losses grow significantly. This gives mixed messages in the preparation of its IPO, which is planned for the fall of 2017 to create room for more investments.

Italian gelato is European market leader

11/08/2017

Italian cuisine is revered all across the globe, with people often thinking of pizza and pasta. However, Italians also have an ironclad reputation when it comes to ice cream. This is also reflected in sales, as Italians are the European market leader.

Oprah Winfrey and Kraft Heinz join forces

10/08/2017

American tv star Oprah Winfrey has joined forces with Kraft Heinz to develop a range of “healthy and nutritious soups and side dishes”. The range, currently only available in the United States, should help Kraft Heinz generate turnover growth once more.

Ahold Delhaize continues to struggle in Belgium

09/08/2017

Belgian-Dutch supermarket group Ahold Delhaize has had a very good second quarter, with the company thinking last year's merger could result in lower costs than previously anticipated. On the other hand, Belgium's performance is still weak.

Sainsbury’s wants to cut 1,000 jobs

07/08/2017

Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, is allegedly planning to cut 1,000 office jobs in order to save up to 500 million pounds (550 million euro).

Back to top