The Lorraine company has come under the control of several international funds, the creditors of its majority shareholder, which could allow it to get out of its receivership, it was learned yesterday Monday. On December 24, 2020, the Baccarat crystal factory had already revealed in a press release the progress of its shareholding, which was called into question at the beginning of September.
It should be remembered that the world-renowned glass company was controlled by Fortune Fountain Capital (FFC) since 20 June 2018. The FFC was owned by three Chinese investors : Anne Liangping Wang, Coco Chu and Jack Sun (CEO of Baccarat). The latter were in debt as a result of the acquisition of Baccarat.
On 27 July 2020, the CTF was liquidated by court order due to the non-reimbursement of the debts of the 3 Chinese shareholders and their disappearance. The latter were also suspected of fraudulent practices. Subsequently, the creditors of the latter requested the non-renewal of part of Baccarat’s board of directors and demanded three new directors.
“Everyone is embarrassed to have been fooled, but there is a general mobilisation. We are supported by Bercy and the elected representatives. We are very much listened to. “said Eric Rogue, secretary of the works council and CGT delegate at Baccarat.
However, Baccarat’s management expressed its refusal to comply with these requirements, which led to a referral to the Nancy Commercial Court by the creditors. The court therefore decided to appoint three provisional administrators on 7 September, including Frédéric Abitbol and Christophe Gelis.
The crystal company then made a point of specifying that it was not going to be subject to safeguard or receivership proceedings, and stated that “Baccarat has the necessary funds for its operations and pays its suppliers and receivables as usual”.
Since then, the State has been looking for new shareholders for the company.
In its latest press release, Baccarat therefore informs that the creditors, led by Tor Investment Management, hold 100% of the capital and voting rights of FFC, which holds 97.1% of Baccarat’s capital and voting rights.
The creditors have indeed realized a pledge on shares that had been granted as a financing agreement between the creditors and the CTF’s shareholders in October 2019.
This procedure then enabled the creditors to announce their intention to file, through the FFC, a mandatory takeover bid for all Baccarat shares at the time of the next appointment of the Board of Directors. This offer will be studied during the next general meeting of Baccarat shareholders on the proposal of the creditors and after a reasoned opinion on the board’s offer has been issued.
It should be noted that this general meeting is supposed to take place after the provisional administrators have submitted a report and assessed its elements to the Nancy Commercial Court.
The creditors then announced their intention to ask the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) to set up a squeeze-out procedure following completion of the takeover bid.
Let us hope for the crystal factory that these events do not disrupt the continuity of its activities, which since the third quarter have shown progress and a certain serenity for its future.
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