FRANCE: Casino, Galeries Lafayette buyout talks stall
Casino and upmarket retailer Galeries Lafayette have intensified their public dispute over the future of the Monoprix banner
The ongoing dispute between Galeries Lafayette and Casino over ownership of the Monoprix joint venture looks set to continue as the two firms remain embroiled in a deadlock over the valuation of Galeries Lafayette's 50% stake in the retail banner.
Galeries Lafayette implemented an evaluation on a possible sale of the stake in December, and subsequently informed Casino of its intention to terminate the partnership. However, Casino has estimated the stake at EUR700m (US$941m), while Galeries Lafayette calculates it at EUR1.95bn.
Accordingly, a third "expert" must be appointed if the banks responsible for carrying out the evaluation cannot reached an agreement. However, Galeries Lafayette has refused to designate a third party, instead filing a complaint against Casino with a Paris commercial court on 22 February.
"Casino believes that this action has the sole purpose of adding further pressure on them to accept the price that was set by Galeries Lafayette," Casino said.
"Soon after valuing its stake at EUR1.95bn as part of the evaluation process, Galeries Lafayette addressed Casino with an offer to sell at EUR1.35bn. Casino rejected this offer, having received a valuation of Galeries Lafayette's stake at EUR700m from the bank that is advising it."
Casino said it will bring an action before the appropriate court to ensure Galeries Lafayette "respects its commitments".
"Casino made an essential contribution to the development of Monoprix and cannot accept the company being taken hostage by Galeries Lafayette. Casino reiterates its confidence in all the company's management and employees," it added.
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