Unions Win Appeal Over Printemps Sale

The retailer has been ordered to provide additional information to labor representatives.

PARIS — A French court of appeals has ordered Printemps to resume talks with labor representatives regarding its sale to Qatari investors, which was completed last summer, the retailer said on Tuesday.


Unions opposed to the sale of Printemps to Qatari-backed investment fund Divine Investments SA, or Disa, had previously suffered a setback when the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris rejected their bid to suspend the transaction pending additional information on plans to reorganize the flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris.


In a ruling on March 10, the Court of Appeals ordered Printemps to resume the consultation process and provide employee representatives with additional information.


“As a result, Printemps will call very shortly a new meeting of its works council in order to comply with the court’s ruling,” Printemps said in a statement. “This decision in no way challenges the change in ownership of Printemps.”

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The sale was completed in July 2013 after receiving the green light from France’s Competition Authority.


Luxembourg-based Disa, held by private investors, bought a 70 percent stake from Deutsche Bank’s Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, previously known as RREEF, and the remaining 30 percent from Italy’s Borletti Group for a reported 1.75 billion euros, or $2.33 billion at current exchange.


Unions said they feared 226 sales staff could lose their jobs if a reorganization project for its Boulevard Haussmann flagship went through. Printemps management said the Qatari investors pledged not to cut any jobs for two years.