the battles he lost before being on the verge of liquidation

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the battles he lost before being on the verge of liquidation

Bogotá — The supermarket chain Fair & Good will define its fate this Thursday at the hearing that has been convened by the Superintendency of Companies to find out if the promised injection of capital by Joining Futures Capital International Limited (JFC) has finally materialized.

But the situation seems defined after the same company reported that on the night of May 10 Mercadería SAS (Justo & Bueno) filed through its special agent a request to open the judicial liquidation process of the company before the Superintendency of Companies.

“We deeply regret that the payment has not been made as promised by the new owner to the collaborators, lessors and creditors. Based on our feasibility analysis, it is our duty to request the opening of the processacting responsibly before creditors, authorities, society, and before those who have benefited from this model that seeks to improve the quality of life of families,” he said in a statement.

On the lookout are not only the creditors but also the little more than 5,300 workers of the company who they are waiting for the future of Justo & Bueno to be resolvedwhich was founded in 2016 in Colombia and is now exposed to liquidation in case it has not received the capital.

Until the beginning of the year, nearly 450 MSMEs were suppliers to stores throughout the countrybut with the passing of the months this number was reduced due to the uncertainty generated.

Although Justo & Bueno reported a growth in sales of 23% in 2020 (totaled US$1,044 million), At the beginning of 2021, the withdrawal of a group of investors who were willing to allocate some US$100 million took a toll on him.

This happened at a time when 30% of stores had not broken even and it was necessary to obtain resources to adequately capitalize the company, sources close to the company said at the time.

This is how the company entered into the emergency business reorganization process with its creditors, in the midst of the expectation that he would finally achieve the resources to keep his operation afloat.

When it was practically taken for granted, in October last year the foreign fund Global VRwhich was going to inject at least US$75 million into the Colombian hard-discount chain, withdrew its proposal.

VR Global justified itself by indicating that this business presumably did not satisfy some of the conditions that had been incorporated into the proposal, for which the reimbursement of expenses and the “termination of these negotiations” was requested.

Already in January of this year, the CEO of the company, the Chilean Michel Olmi, told Bloomberg Line that the supermarket chain had been acquired by a foreign firm and said goodbye to its main partner, the Panamanian firm Grupo Reve.

But it was only at the end of April when it was confirmed that Justo & Bueno was owned by the capital underwriter with offices in Hong Kong. Joining Futures Capital International Limited (JFC)an announcement that did not convince the creditors and employees who expressed their disagreement due to the lack of answers in the recent hearings.

From these quotes it emerged that the company has a cash deficit of $135,000 million as of April 30, 2022 only for administration expenses of the reorganization.

Although the possibilities are still open, the entry of this money would be decisive in the hearing, so a more decisive pronouncement on the issue is expected, as some creditors and workers to whom they are owed have demanded, according to some sources that follow the case. .

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Line, Jhony Zhang, director and vice chairman of the JFC board of directors, stated that Justo & Bueno would receive US$628 million and would seek to expand to Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina.

“On March 29, 2022, we signed the investment commitment in Justo & Bueno. When investing in a company in the process of insolvency in any part of the world, it normally takes us between 90 and 120 days to complete the placement of resources according to the policies of each country.”, he said in the interview.

He added at that time that they hoped “to count on the help of the Government of Colombia and the national banking entities so that this process does not take the usual time and in an extraordinary way the money from the funds can be placed before May 10”.

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