Bargain chain Big Bazar is not given extra time by the judge to make the company healthy. Payment arrears are too high. Big Bazar wanted four months extra time, but the judge is not impressed with the approach to the problems. The chain itself thinks that it is now the end of the story.
Several creditors have recently filed for bankruptcy for the bargain chain. The first application will be processed tomorrow.
The lawyer of Big Bazar director Jerke Kooistra says that his client is “deeply disappointed and has lost all hope”. Creditors say they are happy with the clarity. They now hope to get some money back through a bankruptcy filing.
‘Not a realistic prospect’
Last week Kooistra promised the creditors in court even better. Of the 23 loss-making stores, 12 are said to have already closed. There would be new lenders and the turnover for November and December should make up for a lot.
The judge is not convinced of this plan. On Friday, he already hinted that he did not find the expected turnover very realistic. In addition, it is heavily considered that the rent of September has not been paid. According to the judge, this shows that there is no prospect of improvement.
28 million debt
Earlier, the NOS reported that the arrears have risen to 30 million euros. This concerns debts with suppliers and landlords, but there is also a debt of almost 10 million euros with the Tax and Customs Administration.
Big Bazar hoped to be able to talk to the creditors. In court, six of the seven creditors indicated that they had no confidence in the restructuring plans. They blame Big Bazar for not fulfilling promises for payment and concluded that there is no financial cover for Kooistra’s remediation plans.
If Big Bazar had been given a cooling-off period, bankruptcy filings and older late payment claims would be temporarily suspended. In such a so-called WHOA procedure, the company and creditors must try to come to an agreement one more time.
That track is now over. Various bankruptcy applications from landlords, suppliers and an employment agency are being dealt with immediately. The first application will be dealt with by the Amsterdam court tomorrow morning.