Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: MAUD DUPUY / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 17:05 p.m., July 17, 2023

The creditors of Casino and the management of the group examined Monday the offer from billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, the only ones in the running for the takeover of the distributor in difficulty after the announcement of the withdrawal Sunday night of the trio Niel-Pigasse-Zouari.

Casino shares have been suspended since the opening of the markets on Monday, "at the request of the company" and pending a statement, according to a communication from the stock exchange operator Euronext.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, the distributor with 200,000 employees (a quarter of whom are in France) could communicate Monday evening after meeting of its board of directors. A meeting to be held after a presentation of takeover offers to Casino's creditors, major French and European banks, investment funds or institutional players.

A debt of 6.4 billion euros at the end of 2022

Takeover candidates had until July 14 at 21 p.m. to submit an enhanced takeover offer. The trio of businessmen Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Moez-Alexandre Zouari had applied at first, but announced Sunday evening "not to submit an offer", evoking "a financial situation more deteriorated than expected". After this abandonment, only one offer remains, that of the duo of billionaires composed of the Czech Daniel Kretinsky and the French financier Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.

>> READ ALSO - Kretinsky close to taking over Casino after defection of competing offer

The offer of the latter has been "a little modified" to ensure the support of more creditors of Casino, said Sunday the Czech billionaire to the newspaper Les Echos. "We also hope that French banks are rather in agreement with our proposal, which meets all the demands of society," he said.

>> READ ALSO - Casino: conciliation procedure and wish to sell a hundred stores to Intermarché

The previous week, Casino had indicated that "the revised offers received will be examined by the ad hoc committee of the board of directors and then a presentation to the group's creditors, under the aegis of conciliators and CIRI" the Interministerial Committee for Industrial Restructuring, a service of Bercy that looks into companies in financial difficulty. All this Monday.

Casino had set July 27 as the deadline to find an agreement in principle with its main creditors on its crushing debt, announced at 6.4 billion euros at the end of 2022. This, within the framework of an amicable conciliation procedure opened at the end of May and which can last up to five months.