Vivarte creditors agreed to put into action the so-called “trust procedure”. They are going to become the new shareholders of the French footwear group, whereas the old ones will lose their stocks. Patrick Puy, Vivarte chief executive officer, announced the decision while speaking to France Info. “I am not proud of the fact that shareholders have lost everything, yet I am happy that now the company has 200 million euros, in terms of available liquidity, and no debts”. Alcentra, Anchorage, Hayfin and Oaktree, among others, are the creditor funds (newly become shareholders).
A step back
Vivarte have been dealing with a radical reorganization for a long while. Aiming to pay off their debts, they had to sell several brands, such as André, Naf Naf, Chevignon, Kookai, Besson, and Cosmoparis. They also tried (without success though) to divest Minelli and, announced Puy, will sell San Marina by the end of the year. Yet, divestitures and reorganization were not enough to collect required liquidity. That is why Puy decided to play the “trust procedure” card, included in the re-negotiation agreement. Therefore, creditors have reduced their own exposure while buying some company shares; old stockholders have lost their shares, whose value amounts to about 460 million euros.
A step forward
“Today our means, which we did not have in the past, enable us to develop”, remarked Patrick Puy while talking to Fashion Network French edition. He hinted at 70 to 75 million euros, in terms of investments. “At present Vivarte is a 1.4-billion-euro group: we have 10,000 employees, 200 million euros as available cash and no debts”. They might be up to some more divestitures; moreover, they are going to shut down several shops (trade union organizations talk about 200 to 300 stores) following the merger, formerly announced, between La Halle aux Chaussures and La Halle aux Vêtements brands.