(Athens, Greece) – One of Greece’s largest and oldest supermarket chains, Marinopoulos, has filed for bankruptcy this week. The courts have received the application and have reached a verdict in favor of the company. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week after realizing that it owes too much money to creditors. Subsequently, they had said that they would try to restructure the company in hopes of turning a profit without bankruptcy. Previous deals with the Sklavenitis supermarket chain, their biggest competitor, have also fallen through. The two companies were supposed to merge.
Currently, Marinopoulos employs around 13,000 people and many are concerned that the state of the company will result in job losses. If the company successfully emerges out of bankruptcy, however, there is a greater chance that these jobs will be safe. At one time, Marinopoulos was one of the most successful companies in all of Greece.
Although the company filed for bankruptcy, that doesn’t mean it was officially granted. It is up to the courts if they are eligible for bankruptcy protection. However, there are those who believe that the company will grant it since they are under so much pressure to do so. There are both economic considerations and political pressures at work here, and not granting the bankruptcy could prove disasterous. Granting the bankruptcy will give the chain temporary protection against its creditors. However, the main trial is currently scheduled for September to see how things will proceed over the long term.
One of the issues that has plagued the chain is that there are some outstanding wage payments that are in place. On Thursday of this past week, Marinopoulous and the employee union came to an agreement that will help settle that issue. They have also promised to do everything in their power to make sure that the employee’s jobs are safe. However, if the company doesn’t emerge out of bankruptcy successfully, it will put a lot of people out of work.