BUSINESS

Marinopoulos agreement is still at risk

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Business

The contract for the undertaking of the Marinopoulos supermarket chain by peer Sklavenitis is at risk of being annulled, as the bankruptcy court was late in issuing its approval of the deal on Monday.

The delay, by one working day, of the verdict’s issue after months of waiting could trigger one of the agreement’s annulment clauses.

The decision by the bankruptcy court ratifies the agreement for the acquisition of the Marinopoulos chain.

The parties involved say this is a clear verdict in favor of the takeover by Sklavenitis, but no one can be sure there won’t be any problems in the process.

Interested parties will likely be able to see the full text of the verdict on Tuesday, so they can agree on a legal formula to get around the impact of an annulment clause in the contract.

On Monday the legal representatives of the two supermarket chains and the crediting banks held a meeting to examine all alternative plans, even though they are not yet aware of the court’s full decision.

A legal source with full knowledge of the case told Kathimerini that the decisive factor in the shaping of the solution to be chosen will be the content of the verdict as well as details such as the precise date it will bear.

Everyone hopes that the agreement will not need to be amended, as that would require a fresh submission to the court and many months of additional delays in the streamlining of Marinopoulos.

Monday’s development may have overcome the first legal obstacle but it will increase the cost of the plan both for the banks and for Sklavenitis, as the Marinopoulos chain will require additional interim financing as well as product supplies to keep operating.

The interim financing – i.e. the money for the period until the takeover is complete – ran out in mid-December, so only 30 percent of the December salary has been paid to the Marinopoulos employees, with money coming from the stores’ turnover.

A fresh loan by the banks to Sklavenitis and the use of more of the buyer’s capital is only permitted once the transfer of Marinopoulos to its new owner is completed.

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