PARIS, Jan 3 (Reuters) – A consortium led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky will own and control 53.7% of French retailer Casino’s share capital once a restructuring plan is completed, Casino said on Wednesday.

Current shareholders will be massively diluted to around 0.3% of the share capital, it added.

The statement also cited a report by independent expert Sorgem Evaluation that found the restructuring plan was fair to current shareholders.

Casino said that – according to Sorgem’s report – without implementation of the restructuring plan, the group’s enterprise value of 3.71 billion euros ($4.05 billion) (as implicit in the subscription price of the capital increase reserved for the consortium), is well below its net debt of 7.88 billion euros.

Under these conditions, the economic value per 100 shares is zero. After implementation of the plan, the value of these 100 shares would be around 5 euros, which Casino said represented a value “very close to” the subscription price of the capital increase reserved for the consortium.

As part of its restructuring, Casino said on Dec. 18 it had entered into exclusive talks to sell all of its big stores to Les Mousquetaires and Auchan Retail.

Casino, which has warned of likely losses for 2023 for its core French business, is racing to finalise a bailout to avoid bankruptcy early this year. ($1 = 0.9172 euros) (Reporting by GV De Clercq Editing by Chris Reese and Barbara Lewis)

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