Several groups had applied to take over the company, including the British Frasers.
By Le Figaro with AFP
The Commercial Court of Grenoble chose the cooperative Intersport to resume the struggling group Go Sport, deeming its offer better than that of its main competitor Frasers-Sports Direct, according to a judgment rendered on Friday. The court thus followed:the unanimous opinion of the prosecution, creditors and employees“, underlines the deputy prosecutor François Touret de Coucy in a press release. According to him, Intersport is committed to resuming “72 stores corresponding to 90% of jobs“, for a price of 35 million euros.
“Go Sport looks like us, with hiking, skiing, cycling… and similar employee profiles as DNA. And we have a geographical complementarity: where Intersport is weak, Paris and the Paris region, Go Sport has a strong network. And Go Sport is rather absent from areas, in the provinces, where we are very strong“, explained its CEO Jacky Rihouet in March.
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The suspense is finally coming to an end for the approximately 2,150 employees of the sporting goods distributor based on the outskirts of Grenoble who, at the end of the procedure, should quickly leave the bosom of the Bordeaux businessman. Michel Ohayonhimself in financial and legal turmoil.
The fear of “ending up like Camaïeu”
His company Hermione, People & Brands (HPB), which initially intended to present a recovery plan for Go Sport with the help of a partner, had finally given up on it.with regret” on April 17, claiming to have been put “impediments from the start“. A withdrawal welcomed by the employees, who have explained for months that they have lost all confidence in their parent company, for fear of “finish like Camaïeu», another brand owned by HPB, put into liquidation at the end of September.
Faced with the offer of Intersports France, was the British group Frasers, which claims 30,000 employees. “The next few years are going to be exciting” In France “with the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics“, had underlined at the end of March its operational director Ger Wright, evoking the possibility of building”its activity within the French market organically“. Frasers’ subsidiary, Sports Direct, had agreed to take over 75 stores and 136 of the 227 head office employees. In stores, Sports Direct would take over 1,477 employees out of the 1,574 identified.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has also opened a judicial investigation for “organized gang fraud, habitual money laundering, bankruptcy and abuse of corporate assets“, as an extension of information opened in Grenoble following “several revelations of criminal factsreported by Go Sport’s auditors.
“Go Sport has a strong network”
Sports Direct also intended to rebrand Go Sport stores under its Sports Direct banner.in a reasoned and progressive manner over the next three or four years“. But for Me Evelyn Bledniak, lawyer for the central social and economic committee (CSEC) of Go Sport, Intersport’s offer offers much better guarantees in terms of “sustainability» activity and employment.
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According to her, some of the announcements made by Frasers during the April 18 hearingconfused everyone a bit” and are “of such a nature as to considerably change the physiognomy of the filelike the hypothesis of store closures and layoffs, as well as the “very short-term possibility of spinning off (some) stores“. “Between the two offers, for me, there is no debate, but we are waiting for the decision“, she pointed out.