27 June – 3 July 2001

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Foreign investors expected to bail out Price Club

A solution for the Price Club’s fiscal turmoil appears to be on the horizon, with insiders informing The Business Times that investors from Italy, Ireland and South Africa have been discussing the possibility of buying an unspecified amount of shares in the troubled supermarket chain.

Discussions are currently underway with the chain’s directors and sources add that they are optimistic about the outcome. It is believed that by selling shares to foreign investors, the ailing company would receive a much-needed leg up.

Meanwhile, the directors have also injected fresh capital into the business themselves, over and above their bid to attract foreign investment.

Rumours have been rife that the supermarket giant was in severe financial difficulty recently, fuelled by emergency talks the directors held with creditors and the shops’ empty shelves.

The chain also recently carried out a restructuring programme with the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With some 500 people directly employed with the chain and several hundred more indirectly, the implications if the company had to collapse would be severe.

And today a meeting at the Hilton is being organised, for creditors to discuss ‘the seriousness’ of the situation.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt