France-based mass market retailer Groupe Casino has entered into a lock-up agreement to restructure its debt with creditors led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Casino signed the binding agreement with a consortium led by Kretinsky’s company, EPGC, alongside its creditors, Attestor and shareholder Fimalac.

The lock-up finalises the agreement signed in July this year, under which the consortium will inject €1.2bn ($1.35bn) of new money in the form of equity.

The cash injection plan would also reduce the company’s overall debt by €4.7bn.

Casino said it planned to pursue discussions with the financial creditors, who are not yet party to the lock-up agreement, to obtain their adherence to the latter.

The financial restructuring is subject to regulatory clearance, approval of the Commercial Court of Paris and other conditions.

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The retailer expects to complete the restructuring in the first quarter of 2024.

Casino chief executive officer Jean-Charles Naouri said: “Casino has reached a major milestone in its financial restructuring process by obtaining the agreement of its main creditors on a financial restructuring plan that creates a favourable framework for the sustainability of the group’s activities, the continuation of jobs and head offices and the continued development of all its brands.

“This agreement has been designed and implemented in the interests of all stakeholders, in particular customers, employees, partners and franchisees. I would like to thank them for their support and all the group’s teams for their ongoing and exemplary commitment and determination.”

Casino operates a network of more than 12,000 stores in France and Latin America. Last year, it generated €33.6bn in net sales.

Recently, the retailer completed the sale of the first set of 61 stores in France to Groupement Les Mousquetaires.