Who is Michel Ohayon, the businessman everyone has been talking about lately? Over the last few decades, he had managed to build a real estate and business empire in France. But his retail portfolio was very weakened by the Camaïeu disaster.
At 61, he is one of the leading property owners in downtown Bordeaux. His portfolio also includes luxury hotels and an array of retail assets such as La Grande Récré, Gap France, Go sport and Galeries Lafayette stores in the regions. In addition to these sectors, the Oenology and Restaurant sectors are also associated with his name, through his investment company, Financière Immobilière Bordelaise and his subsidiary Hermione People and Brands (HPB).
The latest news is the announcement that the 26 Galeries Lafayette stores he controls in France, through the company Hermione Retail, have been placed in receivership. This announcement was made during a rare interview with Sud Ouest on February 17. The next day, a spokesman for the businessman corrected his statements: these stores will be put under safeguard of the commercial court, not placed in receivership.
“There has been a mistake (…). There is no placement in receivership, because a request for placement in safeguard procedure was filed Friday morning with the commercial court of Bordeaux. There is no suspension of payments” he told AFP.
Michel Ohayon indeed owns about 20 Galeries Lafayette department stores, acquired from the eponymous group in 2018. They employ 750 employees across France, in cities such as Bayonne, Cannes, Niort and Rouen.
Despite a rich real estate portfolio, Mr. Ohayon’s empire is rocking dangerously as his retail business seems to be flying like a feather.
Michel Ohayon, one of France’s great fortunes
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