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Barclays could control French poultry group Doux - source
July 25, 2012 / 8:22 PM / 5 years ago

Barclays could control French poultry group Doux - source

RENNES, France (Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) could take a 70 percent stake in debt-burdened French poultry group Doux, which went into administration last month, a source close to Doux management told Reuters on Wednesday.

The bank holds 140 million euros of debt from the French company, one of the world’s biggest poultry exporters, according to Doux officials.

A Doux spokesman confirmed that the company on Wednesday sent a plan to a French court that includes participation and a debt for equity swap from Barclays. He declined to give further details.

Barclays gave no immediate response when asked about the matter.

A commercial court in northwest France is due on Thursday to unveil a 28 million euro recovery plan submitted by Doux that would enable the company to keep operating throughout the remainder of 2012 during a court protection period.

Under the plan - which would preserve 3,190 jobs - one of the principal Middle East importers of Doux chicken, Saudi company Al-Munajem, would take a 10 percent stake, the source said.

Doux Chairman Charles Doux has held 80 percent ownership in the firm with his family, with the remainder held by French bank BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA).

    Doux received 11 takeover offers earlier this month, according to unions, including rival poultry producer LDC LDCP.PA and a consortium led by oilseed group Sofiproteol.

    The company has been weighed down by debts of 340 million euros ($412 million) and the jobs of some 3,400 workers and 800 farmers in France are threatened by Doux’s possible bankruptcy.

    France’s new Socialist government has taken an active role in managing the situation as it tries to avoid a wave of factory closures, offering a 35 million euro cash injection for Doux.

    Reporting by Pierre-Henri Allain. Writing By Alexandria Sage

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