PARIS, June 17 A Paris court ordered the
liquidation of books-to-music retailer Virgin Megastore France
on Monday, sending hundreds more people to join France's record
Virgin Megastore France, which employs 960 people in France,
filed for insolvency in January, blaming high property rental
costs and an industry-wide slump in CD and DVD sales as
consumers download more film and music online.
The court last week rejected two takeover offers by clothing
group Vivarte and specialist retailer Cultura, deeming neither
sufficient to safeguard Virgin's future.
"It's not a surprise, but it's a very sad day for Virgin and
its employees," Virgin CEO Christine Mondollot told Reuters. "We
had no other choice but to put the company under liquidation."
Consumer spending has been sapped by recession in France,
the euro zone's second-biggest economy, and unemployment is at a
Union leaders will meet on June 24 to discuss the conditions
in which staff will be laid off and found new jobs. They have
called on staff to occupy stores to heap pressure on management.
Private equity firm Butler Capital Partners, Virgin
Megastore's main shareholder, said last month it would give two
million euros ($2.7 million) to help staff find new jobs. Media
group Lagardere, which owns a 20 percent stake,
offered to rehire 80 employees.
($1 = 0.7496 euros)
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Natalie Huet; Editing by