FRANCE: Belvedere seeks permission to resume trading
Under-fire French wine and spirits firm Belvédère has filed a request to resume trading, following a court ruling protecting it from being declared bankrupt.
Belvédère, which suspended trading voluntarily on 23 June after a credit warning from analyst group Standard & Poor's, hopes to re-list with NYSE Euronext from today (30 July).
The move follows the publication of a ruling by the Commercial Court in Beaune, which will protect the firm from the claims of creditors.
Belvédère suspended trading after shares tumbled 30% in a day last month, upon concerns over the firm's ability to re-pay senior secured debt, relating to acquisitions in 2007.
The Beaune Court order, known as a Protection and Reorganisation Procedure, is available to French companies facing financial difficulties but who are not yet insolvent. It effectively freezes a company's liabilities, before appointing an outside official to oversee a period of reorganisation.
Belvédère's protection order was enacted on 16 July and may last for up to 18 months. Group net profit slumped to EUR0.6m (US$935,000) in 2007, compared to EUR14.4m a year earlier, although sales rose 35% EUR1.04bn.
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