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Struggling French Retailer Casino Lands €1.5B In Debt Equity

French retailer Casino announced that it has raised €1.5 billion ($1.67 billion USD) in bank loans so that it can refinance part of its existing debt.

"The group is working with the banks participating in its confirmed credit lines (whether syndicated or bilateral) to agree [on] a new syndicated revolving facility, maturing in October 2023, for approximately €2 billion. The group has already received commitments from 14 French and international banks for more than €1.6 billion, subject to final documentation and customary conditions," the company revealed in a press release.

In addition, the company has plans to make a tender offer to buy back its bonds that mature in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Casino is experiencing the effects of a price war that has gone on for years in its domestic market, which includes rivals Carrefour, Leclerc and Auchan. The company is already in the middle of a €4.5 billion asset-disposal plan to slash its debt, which was at €2.7 billion at the end of last year, and stands to be at less than €1.5 billion at the end of 2020.

Last month, Casino said it is in discussions to sell Leader Price to Aldi. Discount chain Leader Price recorded €2.5 billion in sales last year, which was reportedly 0.5 percent lower than the year before on a like-for-like basis.

In April, Casino announced plans to sell 12 Casino hypermarkets, and 20 supermarkets to Apollo Global Management in a $529 million deal.

“This strengthening of the capital structure will allow the group to fully concentrate on reaching its operating, financial and strategic objectives, as well as on executing its asset-disposal plan,” Casino said, according to the Financial Times.

The move to refinance its debt is another step in the right direction for Casino. Earlier this year, Amazon announced it was expanding its partnership with Casino, installing pickup lockers in Casino stores, and more of Casino’s products will be sold on Amazon.

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