Imminent bankruptcy for Makro, the large cash and carry chain in Spain
Bankruptcy threatens Makro, the large chain of cash and carry supermarkets in Spain. Image: JulieStar/Shutterstock.com
The Belgian cash and carry chain Makro and the catering wholesaler Metro are on the verge of bankruptcy, according to information from Thursday, September 1.
The owner of Belgian Makro and Metro stores, Bronze Properties, said it was seeking protection from creditors through a legal reorganization, with bankruptcy threatening the chain, which has several locations in Spain.
Makro and catering wholesaler Metro, which is based in 17 stores in Belgium and employs 2,000 people, have been recording losses for years, according to reports from Belgium on Thursday September 1.
During the 2020-2021 financial year (until the end of September), the Belgian branch recorded a loss of 42 million euros on a turnover of 646 million euros, which is one tenth less than the ‘last year.
The German distribution group Metro AG has already had to make up for losses of more than 420 million euros since 2015.
In June, Metro sold its Belgian subsidiary to the German restructuring company Bronze Properties.
German restructuring company Bronze Properties said: “The structure of Makro Cash & Carry Belgium’s operations and the financial difficulties the company is facing pose a threat to the continuity of its activities.
He added: “A classic round of layoffs would offer little solace. The long-term viability of the company would still not be guaranteed. Moreover, there is no money to pay the high costs of such a reorganization.
Any plans to sell Makro and Metro seem unlikely despite interest from several candidates as “none of the interested parties have offered to take over the business in its entirety”.
Subsequently, Bronze Properties was forced to file a petition with the court.
“A judicial reorganization allows the transfer of all or part of the company’s activities to another entity to safeguard employment in viable activities,” Bronze said.
Belgian press briefing tijd.be noted that it is very likely that the company will go bankrupt and that the staff will lose their jobs.
Bronze said the judicial reorganization would be done under the authority of a representative of the court and that the trustees would have about four to six months of work.
Liberal ACLVB union spokesman Wilson Wellens said that “in the meantime, shops will remain open”.
However, “if the judge does not grant Bronze’s motion, the chances of bankruptcy are extremely high,” Wellens said.
Bronze submitted the petition to the court on Thursday, September 1, which has 15 days to consider it.
“The court principal will not sell businesses to the highest bidder but to whoever wants to keep the most jobs,” Wellens added.