Advising Caisse d’Épargne Rhône-Alpes on the continuation plan of Lise Charmel
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has advised Caisse d’Épargne Rhône-Alpes in the context of the continuation plan of Lise Charmel :
The Lise Charmel Group sought the protection of the Commercial Court of Lyon in the context of receivership proceedings opened on February 27, 2020. After 19 months of proceedings, this same Court has just stopped the continuation plans of the Group’s companies on September 30, 2021, thus allowing the rescue of a flagship of the French luxury industry and the maintenance of more than 800 employees worldwide, including 200 in France.
The Lise Charmel Group designs, manufactures and markets high-end lingerie, an activity that generates sales of more than 50 million Euros, 50% of which is exported.
The Lise Charmel group experienced initial difficulties in 2018, particularly related to the general decline in the lingerie market, the yellow vest crisis and a large bank debt. The group’s holding company, Lise Charmel Industrie, and 7 other of its French subsidiaries have thus requested the opening of preventive procedures.
However, these amicable discussions came to a halt, as all of the group’s companies were victims of a cyber attack with a ransom demand, which led to the paralysis of information systems and the total shutdown of production lines for more than three weeks in 2019. Faced with this exceptional situation, the Lise Charmel Group sought the protection of the Lyon Commercial Court, which opened receivership proceedings for the 8 companies on February 27, 2020.
As soon as these proceedings were opened, the Management, together with its advisising staff and the bodies involved in the insolvency proceedings, worked to restructure the Group in order to optimize its sales and reduce its costs: strategic and marketing repositioning, digitalization of its distribution channels, job protection plan, etc.
This restructuring will have enabled the majority of jobs to be maintained, i.e. 200 employees in France and 602 abroad.
The continuation plans approved by the Lyon Commercial Court also provide for a legal restructuring of the Group through dissolution and merger operations, which will enable it to further reduce its costs.
Last but not least, the Group and its advisising counsel, with the assistance and unfailing support of its legal administrators and legal representatives, have negotiated with all the creditors of each company in order to obtain a massive reduction in the declared liabilities, which is the main issue in the case and a necessary condition for the continuation of operations.
The Lyon Commercial Court’s decision to approve the 8 continuation plans of the Lise Charmel Group companies is therefore a victory for the French industry and its excellent know-how.
Supported by the co-administrators and co-judicial agents, the unfailing involvement of the co-judges, the favorable opinion of the employees’ representatives and the public prosecutor’s office, as well as the massive support of its creditors, the Lise Charmel Group has emerged stronger from its receivership proceedings.