It seems that Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is in the process of potentially acquiring the French supermarket chain Casino, a move that could inject €1.2 billion into the struggling retailer. Here are some key points from the provided information:
- Potential Acquisition: Daniel Kretinsky is closing in on acquiring Casino, which is facing financial difficulties and is laden with debt. The company’s board has approved moving forward with talks about Kretinsky’s takeover attempt.
- French Government’s Response: The French government has not opposed the bid by Kretinsky, but it is reportedly concerned about potential job cuts that may result from the acquisition.
- Casino’s Financial Situation: Casino, France’s sixth-largest retailer, has been struggling, and its financial health is precarious. It is mentioned that the company has significant debt, approximately €6.4 billion.
- CEO’s Reign: If the sale goes through, it would mark the end of the 30-year tenure of CEO and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri. This comes at a time when traditional retailers are facing challenges due to the growth of e-commerce and discount supermarket chains.
- Competing Bids: Kretinsky faced off a rival bid from 3F Holding, led by Xavier Niel. However, Niel’s bid was ultimately withdrawn. Kretinsky gained support from the Attestor Capital fund during this process.
- Investment Plans: Kretinsky plans to inject €1.2 billion into Casino, potentially as part of a consortium with French billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere and Attestor.
- Kretinsky’s Background: Daniel Kretinsky is a Czech billionaire and owner of Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH), the largest energy group in central Europe. He has diversified his investments into various sectors, including retail, media, and sports.
- Other Holdings: Kretinsky is already a major shareholder in the English football club West Ham and has purchased stakes in companies such as the French newspaper Le Monde, retailer Fnac-Darty, British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, and German grocer Metro. His net worth is estimated to be €8.4 billion according to Forbes.
This acquisition could have significant implications for Casino, its employees, and the retail industry in France, as well as for Kretinsky’s growing portfolio of investments.