ATHENS Greek supermarket operator Marinopoulos on Saturday agreed with its creditors and rival supermarket chain Sklavenitis the terms for restructuring its business, Sklavenitis said, in a first step to salvage the company from bankruptcy.
The privately owned group, with about 11,000 workers and more than 800 stores across Greece, has been the latest casualty of the country's crippling recession. Marinopoulos won a temporary protection from creditors until Sept. 21 to allow for a shakeup of its operations.
Greek media estimated the group had about 700 million euros ($775 mln) in outstanding debts to 2,000 suppliers.
The deal allows banks and supermarket chain Sklavenitis to offer Marinopoulos enough funding to restore its smooth operation, secure salaries for its workers and cover basic operating expenses until restructuring is completed, Sklavenitis said in a statement.
Sources close to the deal said that interim financing would include some 70 million euros offered by creditors and Sklavenitis, while another 10 million euros would come in the form of guarantees by Marinopoulos. Total funding would amount to 320 million euros, they said.
The restructuring plan needs creditors' approval before it is cleared by a Greek court, Sklavenitis added.
Consumer spending has plunged as a result of tough austerity Greece has implemented in return for three international bailouts since 2010 to fight its debt crisis.
Marinopoulos had expanded and made several acquisitions before the economic downturn.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Jon Boyle)