The ailing fashion group FNG does not receive any additional funds from the banks. A company spokesman said this on Wednesday after an informal works council meeting. That is why alternatives are now being considered. In the meantime, four possible pistes are on the table.
According to FNG, banks are willing to take a “constructive position” if the company were to come up with other funds. The banks have not cancelled their loans for the time being.
Now the fashion company is forced to quickly find an alternative. There are already “four complementary pistes on the table”. These are not yet detailed, given the recent “njet” of the banks and the deadline that Chief Executive Paul Lembrechts has promised the unions to provide clarity, but not yet in detail, not yet in detail, it says.
The four runs are intended to raise money with an investment fund, issue convertible bonds, accept the offer of a third party to sell fNG’s old shares, and finally sell certain parts of FNG in the Benelux countries.
“The FNG Board of Directors is currently considering these options and their feasibility and will seek shareholder approval,” it said. “Of course, the goal is to provide clarity as quickly as possible, and the goal remains to save as much activity as possible, in whatever form.”
FNG has been in difficult financial securities for some time. The Belgian fashion group suffered a net loss of 292 million euros in 2019, while the company has debts of 734 million euros. This is still without taking into account the Corona crisis. FNG applied for and received protection from creditors for three companies (FNG International, Brantano and Market Retail). In addition, 287 jobs are at stake, a quarter of the total workforce. The company plans to close up to 47 stores.
Union: “70 million euros needed for restart”
FNG needs 70 million euros in the short term to be able to achieve a new start. According to trade unionist Sven De Scheemaeker (ACV Puls), this became known on Wednesday at an informal works council of the group with brands such as Brantano and Fred & Ginger.
The next few days will be crucial. Paul Lembrechts said, according to ACV’er, that it will be “very difficult to save something from the FNG ship.” But “as long as there is life, there is hope,” the trade unionist retains the courage. He added that he appreciated the clarity and openness of the interim ceo. “We had the first feeling of having access to FNG’s internal kitchen.”
Unions have also been told that workers’ wages will be paid for July. They will be deposited this week. “This is good news for the employees, but at the same time it shows that everything that comes after it is very uncertain.”