This article was last updated on September 8, 2023
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Big Bazar, the popular bargain chain, is facing financial difficulties and is looking to sell its Belgian branch in order to raise money and avoid impending bankruptcy. The company hopes that by generating additional capital, it can secure the position of its creditors and gain extra time to reach an agreement.
The Court Hearing in Leeuwarden
During the court hearing in Leeuwarden on Friday, the judge considered granting Big Bazar a special cooling-off period for the second time. This period would allow the company to negotiate with its creditors and potentially avoid bankruptcy. Big Bazar currently operates over a hundred stores, with approximately ten located in Belgium. To meet its obligations in the next few weeks, the company requires 3.5 million euros.
The Sale of the Belgian Branch
Big Bazar has revealed that the sale of its Belgian branch, which would provide the required capital injection, is almost finalized. The company’s lawyer, Oscar van Oorschot, highlights that all of the Belgian stores are profitable. An agreement for the sale was nearly reached earlier this week, but it fell through after a court ruling denied Big Bazar the cooling-off period.
Bankruptcy on the Horizon
It seemed likely that Big Bazar would be declared bankrupt on Tuesday. However, the works council of the company made a last-minute request for the appointment of a restructuring expert who could help resolve the financial issues. As a result, the bankruptcy applications were temporarily put on hold, and the case was brought before the court in Leeuwarden once again.
The Judge’s Ruling
The judge has decided to postpone the ruling until next Wednesday at 3 p.m. This delay is to allow Big Bazar the opportunity to receive the necessary 3.5 million euros. The company expects to secure the funds early next week. However, there are still significant creditors who remain skeptical of the ongoing financial restructuring efforts.
The Concerns of Major Creditors
Lawyer Daniël Schuilwerve, representing Nieuwgeluk Real Estate, a retail property landlord, expressed his doubts regarding the progress made in resolving the financial issues. He argues, “We are actually no further along than we were last week.”
The future of Big Bazar remains uncertain as the company navigates its financial struggles. By selling its Belgian stores, Big Bazar aims to generate the necessary capital to protect the interests of its creditors and avert bankruptcy. The judge’s ruling next week will determine the next steps for the bargain chain.