Michel Ohayon manages to keep his 26 Galeries Lafayette

Michel Ohayon keeps control of Galeries Lafayette which he operates in twenty-six cities in France. The Bordeaux commercial court approved, on Wednesday March 20, the safeguard plan that the founder of the Foncière Immobilier Bordeaux (FIB) had presented, a month earlier, for this chain of department stores, we learned from from the registry, Thursday March 21.

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On March 6, the same judges declared the end of the legal recovery procedure of Hermione Real Estate, a subsidiary of the FIB which owns the premises of these points of sale. From then on, the way is clear: the Bordeaux businessman will be able to continue to operate these points of sale representing 135 million euros in turnover in 2022 and to collect the rents.

Mr. Ohayon, who is under judicial investigation within the National Jurisdiction for the Fight against Organized Crime (Junalco) “concerning suspicions of embezzlement committed to the detriment of the Gap, Camaïeu, Go Sport and Campus Academy brands” (now liquidated or sold following collective proceedings) And for facts likely to be qualified in particular of “organized gang fraud”, managed to convince the Bordeaux judges of the seriousness of his plan.

In extremis

Hermione Retail expects activity to increase by 4% in 2024. A cost reduction program includes the elimination of positions at the company’s headquarters. On the investment side, the FIB promises to bring 9.5 million euros to the company, including 3.5 million in 2024, according to the report of the judicial administrators. “Thus the company should be able to continue its activity, by perpetuating jobs and clearing its liabilities”they emphasize.

Before the Bordeaux commercial court, nothing hindered Mr. Ohayon’s project. Not even the veto of the employees of the twenty-six Galeries Lafayette. The social and economic committee did not give its approval to the safeguard plan “because it will not ensure the sustainability of the company”advance Me Stéphane Kadri, lawyer for the company’s 1,100 employees.

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The businessman managed to obtain approval at the last minute from the Galeries Lafayette group, his main creditor: Hermione Retail owed him 38 million euros. He had first considered “say stop” and not to support this plan, according to our information, before changing his mind at a hearing on February 21.

“How did Michel Ohayon manage to bring down the Galerie Lafayette group? It’s a mystery “, another major creditor is being strangled, most of whose bills will also go up in smoke. Because the plan stipulates that 70% of all the company’s debts amounting to around 50 million euros will be erased. The remaining 30% will be spread over ten years at a very favorable rate.

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