The Montefiore investment fund proposes to inject 130 million euros into the SoLocal group hit by the Covid-19 crisis, via a plan which would give it ” around 50% of the capital ”, according to the daily The echoes which quotes the founder of Montefiore, Eric Bismuth. SoLocal, the heir to the Yellow Pages group now converted into Internet services for traders and small businesses, is struggling to meet its debt maturities, while it has been particularly hit by the Covid crisis. 19 which has forced many of its customers into temporary closure.
According to Eric Bismuth, the founder of Montefiore cited by The echoes, the fund is ready ” to guarantee an injection of 130 million, which would strengthen the demand for a guaranteed loan of 30 million “. The background is positioned “In support of strategy and management”, according to Mr. Bismuth. But The echoes recall that the plan requires the agreement of the lenders, SoLocal being very heavily in debt. These would be offered to waive debts in exchange for a share in the capital. ” We leave an important place to creditors by inviting them to join us “, Eric Bismuth told Les Echos. According to him, “It is enough for the company to return to its Ebitda (gross operating surplus) of 2019 for them to find significantly more than their investment”.
The SoLocal action has been suspended from the Paris Bourse since Monday, at the request of the company ” pending a strengthening of its financial structure ”. Before being hit by the coronavirus crisis, SoLocal returned to profit in 2019, at 38.6 million euros against a loss of 81.3 million euros for the previous year. However, its turnover was down 12.7% to 584.1 million euros, mainly under the effect of the decline in its Print branch, which covers its historical activity in telephone directories.