Posted on Apr 11, 2021, 12:20 PMUpdated on Apr 11, 2021, 12:49 PM
“VSD” sees the end of the tunnel. The magazine left the receivership proceedings in which it had been placed since August 2019, its reorganization plan having been ratified, according to a decision of the Paris Commercial Court. The title, taken up in June 2018 by Georges Ghosn, which has become a monthly, should also see the entry into its capital of the press publisher Robert Lafont (via the company “Entreprendre”).
“The provisional accounts drawn up for the continuation plan make it possible to envisage sufficient operating results to allow the reimbursement of all creditors,” said the court.
The recovery plan, led by Georges Ghosn, former boss of “France Soir”, has been validated for a period of 10 years. “Creditors representing more than 87% of liabilities are in favor of the plan expressly or tacitly,” says the decision.
Above all, “the accounts are reaching equilibrium this year, or even a profit,” Georges Ghosn told AFP.
The court notes the “energetic recovery” operated by the press boss, who bought the magazine in June 2018 from the Prisma Media group in a tense climate.
The manager implemented a reduction in overheads of 1.1 million euros, obtained with the relocation of the operating premises, the reduction of his own salary, the reduction of the pagination of the title and the redundancy of seven employees, specifies the authority.
The court also notes the creation of an additional liability in the amount of 1.3 million euros, during the period of observation of the procedure, and “multiple cash flow difficulties”.
But several agreements and “financial contributions” – advances on receipts from the former distributor Presstalis, subsidy from the Ministry of Culture, contributions from the entrepreneur Philippe Ghanem and the magazine press editor Robert Lafont – have allowed the title of avoid being placed in compulsory liquidation.
Towards the entrance of Robert Lafont
On the other hand, the court refused the change of legal status from “VSD” (currently a collective company) to a public limited company (SA), justifying its decision by the fact that such a transformation “reduces the possible rights of creditors on the associates ”. He also notes that this transformation “was not presented in the recovery plan submitted to the vote of the creditors”.
This decision could block the entry of Robert Lafont, via his company Entreprendre, in the capital of the magazine up to 49.99%, pointed out Georges Ghosn.
However, the Entreprendre group has indicated, for its part, that it “will take 49.99% of” VSD “in accordance with the agreements” concluded with Georges Ghosn, “in the days to come”. And even if the VSD group remains in partnership, Robert Lafont told AFP on Friday. “We believe a lot in ‘VSD’ and we will develop the title well” with Georges Ghosn, he declared.