June 21, 2021

Clarel has only given benefits in an exercise of the last four | Companies

Clarel has only given benefits in an exercise of the last four | Companies

Dia is already immersed in the second phase of reorganization of its financial debt. After receiving an oxygen balloon from the creditor bank, with 896 million through May 31 To recover the liquidity and be able to access new financing to pay suppliers, the supermarket group now has to comply with the following stages of the agreement: divesting of secondary and unprofitable assets, and putting a capital increase of 600 million of euros to shore up your balance.

The latter is insured after the agreement reached with Morgan Stanley, and must be approved by the shareholders' meeting, which is expected to be held in March. That's always the case that the first shareholder, the Luxembourg-based Letterone fund led by Mikhail Fridman, does not maneuver to stop an operation that he strongly opposes. The fact that this extension is an indispensable condition for banks to continue supporting Dia eliminates any uncertainty beyond Letterone is going to launch an OPA before it occurs.

Before that, it's up to Dia to accelerate the pace of asset sales, specifically, those of the Max Discount chains and Clarel. Of the first, PwC is in charge, while for the drugstore chain, Dia has ordered the process from two of its creditors, Santander and BBVA, and of the two it is the one that can report a greater amount to clean up its financial situation: of 200 million euros for a chain with about 1,200 establishments.

At least, that is the intention, although Clarel's results in recent years have been notable for their irregularity. It operates through society Beauty by Dia, one of the subsidiaries of the supermarket group, which in 2013 bought the German group Schlecker its drugstore stores for 70 million euros.

In the five years in which Dia has managed this business, renamed commercially Clarel, this has given benefits in two, one of them in 2013. In the last four, the drugstore chain has only been profitable in one, in 2016, and in the last one with his accounts closed, in 2017, he accumulated losses of 4.5 million. Since 2014, these have risen above eight million.

Income has also fallen progressively. In 2017, these were 252.5 million, a fall of 3% compared to the previous year, 3.3% less compared to the revenues of 2013.
According to the latest data provided by Grupo Dia, corresponding to the third quarter of the financial year 2018, the Clarel store network was 1,271, two less than a year before. The reduction has occurred on the side of own stores, which have gone from 1,138 in September 2017 to 1,082 in 2018, while the number of franchisees has gone from 135 to 189. This number has been gaining a significant weight in the network of drugstore stores. In 2013, the weight of the franchisees in the network just accounted for just over 2%, for the 15% they had last September.

"Clarel is very profitable, has a very good market and it is a good business, "said the then CEO of Dia, Antonio Coto, in the presentation of the results of the third quarter of last year. So, he anticipated that the company would study "alternative strategies" for the business, without explicitly talking about its sale.

The difficulties that Dia has gone through in recent months, especially as a result of banks limiting liquidity at the end of October to finance payments to suppliers and having them pay them with their own cash. Finally, as part of the negotiation with the creditor bank, Dia seeks buyer Clarel.

The effect of the refinancing, neutralized in the Stock Exchange

Descent. The stock market of Dia, which at the end of last year left the Ibex 35, suffered yesterday a drop of 6.10%, closing at a price of 0.42 euros. With this decrease, and the previous day, higher than 4%, the positive effect that the confirmation of the refinancing had on the value of the shares has been definitively neutralized. These suffered a rebound of around 30% in the last week of 2018, but in the sessions held in 2019, Dia has only finished three positive, and returns to approach its historical minimum, set at 0.36 cents. The group lost the euro barrier on October 15, when it launched its profit warning, and it has not reached 0.50 euros since last December 5th.


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