Hundreds of millions of damage claims threaten FNG

Ellos store
Photo: Trygve Finkelsen / Shutterstock.com

What will happen to Ellos, FNG's only remaining retail asset? The banks demand 200 million euros. Previous owner Nordic Capital starts arbitration because it now has a pack of worthless FNG shares.

 

Nordic Capital is also demanding money

The situation seems desperate for the FNG holding company, or what remains of it. Since FNG's bankruptcy this summer, the remnant of the former empire only includes Scandinavian e-commerce company Ellos. The holding company receives damage claims from every side. That is what's being reported by Belgian newspaper De Standaard.

 

First, there are the banks, who are claiming 200 million euros for damages suffered, even though the company can only claim 20 million euros of corona credit. During the bankruptcy, though, they lost another great deal of money.

 

Another factor in the mix is Nordic Capital, who sold Ellos to FNG in the autumn of 2019. The investor group is angry because it still needs to receive parts of its money (50 to 60 million euros), and the company is also left with practically worthless FNG shares. After all, part of the payment was made in shares of the Belgian fashion group. That is why Nordic Capital is now starting an arbitration proceeding.

 

Stock market flotation for Ellos?

To save the holding company, the court has appointed a mediator. He was able to find a British fund that wants to grant an emergency loan, but the banks rejected that idea. The dozens of lawyers from FNG are now confronted with the question on how to proceed. It may be difficult to find another emergency loan in light of the many claims. An IPO for Ellos, on the other hand, could be a (partial) solution to pay off the debts.

 

Ellos is still a healthy company: so far this year (between January and the end of September) the e-commerce player achieved a gross profit (EBITDA) of 25.4 million euros. For an online retailer, that is more than decent, and it is also higher than the gross profit of 20 million euros in 2019. The corona pandemic has given online sales a push forwards. As a result, it is estimated that Ellos would now be worth around 300 to 360 million euros.