A commercial court in Dijon, eastern France, has approved a relaunch plan presented by embattled French drinks group Belvédère that will reschedule the group's debt over 10 years.

"This plan is a solution to litigation brought in the summer of 2008 by a group of so-called creditors who obviously wanted to get their hands on Belvédère's assets," the group said following publication of the ruling today (10 November).

"It will allow the group to consolidate and pursue its activity in a serene manner while at the same time ensuring payment to creditors concerned by the safeguard procedure," said the firm, which owns Sobieski vodka.

Earlier this month, Belvédère reported half-year operating losses of EUR1.5m (US$2.2m) and net losses of EUR21.7m. The group was placed under bankruptcy protection in France in July 2008 and had EUR579m net debt at the end of June.