Casino, in financial difficulty, will consider the sale of additional supermarkets and hypermarkets after having received “preliminary” offers to this effect, while an agreement already provided for the sale of 119 stores to the Les Mousquetaires-Intermarché group.

The “expressions of interest” received will be “analyzed by the Casino group and by the consortium” of buyers “in the coming weeks,” said the group in a press release released Monday, November 27. “Any transfer operation must be approved in advance by the consortium. »

In a separate press release, it also announced the purchase, for 10 million euros, of a third of Cnova, parent company of Cdiscount, which brings its stake in its online sales subsidiary to almost 99%.

At the end of October, the Casino group entered into an accelerated safeguard procedure in order to restructure its debt by the first quarter of 2024.

The future of the historic headquarters in question?

This restructuring is accompanied by a change of majority shareholder, because the group must come under the control of billionaires Daniel Kretinsky, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and the Attestor investment fund as part of a capital increase from which it expects €1.2 billion in new money in total.

Casino and its emblematic CEO, Jean-Charles Naouri, assured that they wanted to preserve the integrity of the group, which had, at the end of 2022, 200,000 employees worldwide, including 50,000 in France, under well-known brands such as Monoprix, Franprix or Grupo from Açucar.

The activities in Latin America, for which three quarters of employees work, will however be sold, and the group’s commercial performance is struggling, to the point that at the end of November it once again lowered its activity forecasts for the France. It now expects an operating loss for 2023 and an operating profit almost halved in 2024.

In this context, Les Echos announced on Sunday evening that Casino had received expressions of interest for supermarkets and hypermarkets not affected by the agreement with the Intermarché group.

If the sale takes place, adds the economic daily, it could lead to the sale of warehouses and would raise the question of the future of the group’s historic headquarters in Saint-Etienne (Loire).

In mid-July, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, promised that “the State will be vigilant on employment” and the maintenance of the “headquarters in Saint-Etienne” provided for by the agreement between Casino and the candidates for its takeover.