The offer for Makro is not credible and that means the end of the story for 1,400 employees

On Tuesday, when representatives of the court received five offers for the part of Makro Cash & Carry Belgium, hope dawned that there would be prospects for Makro employees as well. However, the doubts that existed then about the quality of the offer have now been confirmed. According to our information, the agents are rejecting the offer of the French company in the formation that applied for Makro and Metro stores. This party was the only one to bid for both Makro and Metro and promised to save 70 percent of threatened jobs.

The company in question was assisted by a certain Karel Verschueren, a Flemish born in Duffel, but residing in Switzerland. Research by the Belgian Official Gazette shows that Verschueren was already sentenced twenty years ago by the Court of Appeal to a two-year suspended prison sentence for, among other things, breach of trust and tax fraud. Since then, he has occasionally appeared in files as a bidder for distressed company bids.

The offer, which was said to be very brief, did not meet the requirements of the offer and was therefore not retained. Specifically, it means that it looks like the end for Makro’s approximately 1,400 employees. Of the 1,900 people who work at Makro Cash & Carry Belgium, 506 jobs could be saved by Dutch catering specialist Sligro. This figure also includes approximately one hundred jobs for employees in the shared headquarters of Makro and Metra.

During the sale. © DeRoo

Still money for severance pay?

The positive news is that Sligro is offering more than €55 million. Money that can be used to pay severance pay to Makro Cash & Carry employees. Any remaining employee assets can then be recovered through a special fund.

Sligro is in the running for 10 of Metro’s 11 stores but has made clear it wants to take on all staff. The Antwerp-North branch is not included in the offer as it overlaps with Sligro’s own branch, which also includes the former ISPC in Belgium as well as Java. The branch in Evergem is also not a priority for Sligro, again due to potential overlap. It is expected to be bought by Limburg hospitality group Van Zon.

Court representatives also received two other offers, including one from Vincent Nolf, director of Makro Cash & Carry Belgium. It initially presented itself as a motivated party, but ultimately made only a token offer for Metro stores. There was also a local offer.

Sale with discounts up to 90 percent

The bids will be presented to the corporate court on Monday and will be heard on Friday, December 2. Creditors and other interested parties can then argue for or against the offers. In any case, December seems to be the month in which the corporate court pronounces itself.

So for Makro stores, it is threatening to be the end of the story in December. The company started last Monday with mild sales discounts of 20 percent, but another brochure already assumes a discount of 70 percent. Anything left over would be sold at a 90 percent discount.

Makro Cash & Carry Belgium is expected to file for bankruptcy following the transfer of Metro’s activities. The company court will then appoint administrators who will put the contents (shelves, rolling stock, etc.) up for sale. Makro started in 1968 as the first in Europe and elsewhere with the idea of ​​a cash-and-carry wholesaler that would focus on small traders. The retail formula has failed to adapt to the changing market.

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