The commercial court of Fort-de-France validated Tuesday the extension of the activity of the daily France-Antilles, put into compulsory liquidation on January 30, in order to exceptionally allow the businessman Xavier Niel to make an offer recovery, found an AFP correspondent.
Twenty days after the liquidation of the group, and the disappearance of the only daily newspaper in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyana, the commercial court of Fort-de-France validated a continuation of the activity until March 10, responding to a request made in emergency Monday by the public prosecutor.
The objective is to be able to allow the founder of Free, Xavier Niel, co-shareholder of Le Monde who has just bought Nice-Matin, to make an offer.
The businessman wrote a "letter of intent" to the prosecutor of the Republic of Martinique, Renaud Gaudeul, justifying according to the prosecutor this "exceptional" procedure of a continuation of activity several weeks after the closing the business.
France-Antilles had normally been liquidated without further activity on January 30. But the 235 employees have still not received their dismissal letter, which means that they are still employees of the group for now, even if they are not working. The newspaper has ceased publication since February 1.
"It is an issue in public life: the maintenance of the daily press and its many jobs (235) in the territories which justifies the reopening of this file," explained the representative of the prosecution.
The court decision provides for the suspension of the dismissal procedures, the retention of the court administrator and the publication of a call for tenders in a national newspaper. This call for tenders runs until March 2 at 3 p.m. All offers, if any, will then be examined on March 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Commercial Court.
No France-Antilles on newsstands on Wednesday. "There are a lot of contracts that have been suspended, orders that have been stopped, there is no more paper. So we will be paid with the money that remains in the treasury," said the employee representative. by Martinique Rodolphe Lamy.
According to the administrator, there is enough to pay wages until March 10.
© 2020 AFP