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French retailer Casino targets further 2b euros of asset sales

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French supermarket retailer Casino is targeting a further 2 billion euros (S$3.05 billion) of asset sales, stepping up plans to cut debt and improve financial performance.

[PARIS] French supermarket retailer Casino is targeting a further 2 billion euros (S$3.05 billion) of asset sales, stepping up plans to cut debt and improve financial performance.

Casino has been struggling to improve its profits in a tough business climate in France, raising concerns over its ability to generate enough cash to pay off the debt of parent company Rallye.

"The board of directors has validated the arbitration of assets whose disposal would be a source of value creation," Casino said in a statement on Tuesday.

"As a result, new asset disposals for a target amount of 2 billion euros have been identified, with this second phase of the disposal plan to be completed by the end of Q1, 2021."

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The new asset sales will come on top of Casino's existing plan to sell off 2.5 billion euros of assets by the first quarter of 2020. Of that target Casino has already signed agreements for sales worth 2.1 billion euros.

The sales so far have mainly taken the form of the disposal of non-core supermarkets or property assets to private equity investors.

Casino Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Charles Naouri in May placed the Rallye holding company under protection from creditors.

Casino's net debts stood at 4.7 billion euros at the end of June.

 

REUTERS