There is fresh uncertainty surrounding embattled French poultry giant Groupe Doux today (1 June) as the company awaits a court ruling on its future.
Reports in France said Doux, which is facing pressure from creditors, yesterday filed a “déclaration de cessation de paiement”, a stage before bankruptcy, with a court in Quimper.
The court was set to give its verdict at 1400 CET this afternoon. However, according to the Agence France Presse news agency, the publication of its deliberations has been delayed by ongoing talks between Doux, its lenders, potential investors and the French state.
The company has been locked in talks with its lenders and potential investors for weeks. According to Le Monde, talks between Doux and government ministers were held overnight. The newspaper quoted French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as saying the government was “taking action to mobilise the banks to avoid [Doux’s] bankruptcy”.
When contacted by just-food, Doux declined to comment but said it was awaiting a decision from the court. Doux will then issue a statement, a spokesperson said.
Doux admitted earlier this week a move into receivership could be an option for the company, which has accumulated debts of around EUR430m as it battled volatile commodity costs and a struggling business in Brazil.
Last week, the Doux family, which owns 80% of the company, replaced CEO Guy Odri, who had been in the job since 2003. Jean-Charles Doux, son of the company’s president, Charles Doux, is now chief executive.
Doux owes around EUR130m to Barclays and the company has a deadline to pay off part of that debt this month.