Dec 19, 2022
Go Sport: court decision on Wednesday, HPB ready to sell the company
Dec 19, 2022
The commercial court of Grenoble, which heard on Monday the representatives of some 2,000 employees who are concerned about Go Sport's financial situation, as well as the company's management, will give its decision on Wednesday.
The purpose of this hearing, held behind closed doors, was to verify that the company is not in a situation of short term suspension of payments. "The court considered that the situation was urgent, that it was necessary to act quickly", explained the central social and economic committee's lawyer, Me Evelyn Bledniak, refering to Go Sport, after the hearing.
Like the ready-to-wear chain Camaïeu, placed in liquidation at the end of September, with its 2,100 employees laid off, its stocks sold off and the brand auctioned off, Go Sport is a subsidiary of the Hermione People and Brands group, owned by Bordeaux investor Michel Ohayon.
Two opposing reports on the state of finances
The auditors of Go Sport, as well as an independent expert mandated by the elected members of the CSEC, presented on Monday a report concluding that Go Sport has been in a state of suspension of payments since the October-November period.
HPB's management countered at the hearing with another independent report, producing a declaration of no cessation of payments and promising a return to positive cash flow in the very near future.
"But this report was made on the basis of incomplete information because it was stopped at the end of November, and the question is: what about today?", underlined Me Bledniak.
If the suspension of payments is confirmed, a procedure of judicial recovery will be opened.
Willingness to sell Go Sport
The HPB company had, for its part, requested a conciliation procedure, more confidential and which would have allowed it to choose its own conciliator. During the hearing, the group expressed its willingness to sell Go Sport if a conciliation procedure was opened.
Economic alert procedures had been launched in October by the statutory auditors and the CSEC, concerned by the fate of Camaïeu, which was liquidated last September and which belonged to the same group. The elected members of the CSEC also discovered that money had been transferred from Go Sport's treasury to HPB, for an estimated amount of 36.3 million euros.
In loss for years, Go Sport, founded in 1978 and based in Sassenage in Isère, had been bought in late 2021 for a symbolic euro by HPB from the parent company of the food retail group Casino, the company Rallye, itself heavily indebted.
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