Belgian bakery and restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien is considering a thorough reorganisation of the shareholder structure. However, there are still several options for its practical implementation.
No details disclosed
Profound changes in the shareholding structure of Le Pain Quotidien could soon be at hand, Belgian business newspaper De Tijd reports. There may be room for a second major reference shareholder (in addition to Cobepa), but the full sale of the Belgian bakery chain is also possible. In any case, it is the Rothschild bank who was appointed to manage the process effectively. Neither connected party did wish to comment on the case.
Cobepa, the investment company of the de Spoelberch family (see the world's biggest brewer AB InBev), currently owns one-third of the shares of Le Pain Quotidien. In addition, AS Adventure founder Emiel Lathouwers, Le Pain Quotidien founder Alain Coumont and many other Belgian entrepreneurs have a stake in the chain.
The reshuffling of the shareholding is already the second major financial operation in less than a year for the chain: last spring, its shareholders already put aside 21 million euros of growth money to finance international expansion. In addition, 10 million euros of shareholder loans were converted into shares.
CEO Jerry Gamez, at the helm since last year, wants to position the chain as an international luxury chain, with branches in expensive locations (like Central Park in New York). This strategy is quite costly, as shown by the chain's most recent results: last year the turnover grew by 5 % to 316 million dollars (290 million euros), but the chain also recorded a loss of more than 24 million dollars (22 million euros), mainly as a result of higher operating costs.
Le Pain Quotidien was founded in 1990 and opened its first branch in Brussels. The chain now has 287 points of sale in 22 countries.