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Future bleak for Algarve retail group

Algarve-based retail group Alicoop was due to have a meeting on Wednesday at the headquarters in Silves to decide on the suspension of staff contracts and the closing of many of its Alisuper supermarkets.

In a statement to regional newspaper Barlavento, Alicoop President José António Silva said: “The absence of a decision from the Creditors Commission regarding the rescue plan has forced the company to reduce its activity to avoid costs and increase the debt.”

He added that the 90 to 100 per cent reduction in company activity would happen within one month up to the next creditors meeting, which will be scheduled by the courts.

“With the suspension of the work contracts, staff can have access to unemployment benefit, which they will receive until the situation is resolved. If everything happens as we want it to, they will return to work for the company,” he said.

According to Jornal do Algarve, during the meeting, around 380 of the group’s 440 staff contracts were due to be suspended.

According to the rescue plan drawn up by Deloitte, Alicoop needs a 5.5 million euro cash injection from its creditor banks to fund its recovery. Although one bank, BCP, has agreed to be part of a plan to save the group, Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), BPI and BPN have failed to give a definitive answer (see the Algarve Resident edition, February 12).