Fimalac to provide new financing for Casino's holding company

PARIS (Reuters) - French financial group Fimalac has agreed to provide new financing facilities for Rallye GENC.PA, the holding company behind supermarket retailer Casino CASP.PA which has been under pressure to cut its debts.

By bringing in new financing from another businessman to try and tide it over in case it faces problems on its derivative contracts, it has cancelled a previous arrangement, announced earlier this month, with Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, Casino’s second-largest shareholder.

Rallye said on Monday that Fimalac had undertaken to provide a financing facility with a maturity of 4 years - with a one-year extension subject to Fimalac’s agreement - either to a subsidiary of Rallye unit Euris until 31 December 2020, or to Rallye at the latest on 5 January 2021, in order to allow the repayment of all certain derivatives transactions.

The maximum amount of this facility is 215 million euros ($238.4 million). Casino and Rallye head Jean-Charles Naouri will also look to give Fimalac a boardroom seat at Casino.

Fimalac, who already has a 2.6% stake in Casino, could strengthen its position in the wake of these arrangements.

Naouri has been trying to ease the company’s debts and those of Rallye, which was placed under protection from creditors in May 2019, via asset sales and refinancings.

Rallye shares closed down 0.15%.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Louise Heavens and Benoit Van Overstraeten