BUSINESS

Marinopoulos to restore normal operation of its supermarkets

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Business

The first substantial step for the streamlining of Marinopoulos, Greece’s biggest supermarket chain, through its transfer to rival Sklavenitis, was made on Saturday with the signing of the crucial funding agreement by the two companies and the creditor banks.

Several significant procedures remain for the plan’s successful implementation, with the aim being for the Marinopoulos chain to resume operating as normal, not just in terms of store operation but mainly in bringing its turnover back up to speed. This is also stressed in the statement issued by Sklavenitis on Saturday.

The signing of the agreement activated the so-called intermediary funding of 70 million euros, which will allow for the operation of the Marinopoulos chain through money Sklavenitis and banks will pay out to suppliers. Toward this intermediary financing Marinopoulos has supplied physical collateral worth 11 million euros. The first money will be immediately disbursed over the course of this week.

The next step will be the submission of a streamlining plan to the chain’s creditors for approval so that it can then be submitted to the court for immediate ratification. Sklavenitis, which will undertake 100 percent of Marinopoulos, noted in its statement that its main objectives are to save the approximately 11,000 jobs at Marinopoulos, to support its suppliers and strengthen the retail commerce sector.

Marinopoulos said in a statement of its own that “today’s development marks an important point in the course of the streamlining process of Marinopoulos and paves the way toward the evolution of a sustainable solution, as was the priority from the outset.”

The main points of the agreement are the following:

* Transfer of 100 percent of Marinopoulos to a new company under the control of Sklavenitis.

* New funding by banks totaling 360 million euros in a 10-year loan with an interest rate of 1.5 percent.

* Payment by Sklavenitis of a sum of 125 million euros.

*  50 percent haircut on Marinopoulos’s debts exceeding 100,000 euros and payment in full of suppliers owed up to 100,000 euros.

* Payment in full, following a settlement agreement, of the debts Marinopoulos has to the tax authorities and the social security funds.

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