US News Camaïeu accused of having "abandoned" its subsidiaries abroad
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Following the bankruptcy of Camaïeu Belgium, anger is mounting against the French parent company, accused of having "abandoned "its subsidiaries abroad when organizing its restructuring.
A Belgian lawyer and union accused the French group Camaïeu (clothing) on Tuesday of having "abandoned" its subsidiaries abroad when organizing its restructuring in France, causing in particular the bankruptcy of Camaïeu Belgique and the loss of some 120 jobs.
This restructuring, under the aegis of the Lille commercial court, led in August to the choice of the Financière immobilière Bordeaux (FIB) to take over 511 of the 634 stores of the banner in France, and around 2,600 employees (out of more than 3.100). On the other hand, no solution was found for the stores and the employees of the subsidiaries in Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, explained to AFP the lawyer Nicholas Ouchinsky, who was appointed representative by the Belgian justice to find a buyer at Camaïeu Belgium and had to note the failure of his mission.
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According to him, the Brussels enterprise court should pronounce this week the liquidation of MDB (Mode développement Belgique), the legal structure overseeing the Belgian subsidiary, which accuses "17 million euros of debt as of June 30". The lawyer said he approached "48 potential candidates" for the takeover, without success."Organized bankruptcy"
Me Ouchinsky denounced the attitude of Camaïeu International (the former parent company established in the north of France), which, when going into receivership, in the spring, would have deliberately ruled out the possibility of a global reorganization. "In 2015, the European Parliament created a legal framework enshrining the coordination of insolvency proceedings at the level of Europe, this framework was totally despised", he accused, speaking of "scandal". "Camaïeu Belgium is officially bankrupt," said the Christian union CNE.
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The organization said it was "angry" for the 120 Belgian employees who will lose their jobs by being deprived of "a large part of their legal compensation", for lack of anticipation in France. "We are in the process of evaluating the possibility of suing Camaïeu for fraudulent bankruptcy," the union added in a statement. In August, six unions from France and Benelux, including the CNE, had already accused the former French management of Camaïeu of "organized bankruptcy", suspecting it of having cleaned up its financial balance sheet in France to the detriment of foreign subsidiaries.
Founded in 1984, with its head office in Roubaix, near Lille, the women's ready-to-wear brand relied at the end of May on a network of 634 stores in France and 198 abroad. "We made choices, we separated from the international, from 20% of the stock of stores, which were losing a lot of money", declared at the end of August Wilhelm Hubner, the new CEO of the brand controlled by the FIB.
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