Phyto plant-based hair care

PARIS — Alès Groupe, the maker of Phyto and Lierac beauty products, has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and entered into administration proceedings.

The family-owned group said in a statement that on July 6 it had requested to enter administration in Paris’ commercial court, which three days later gave the green light. Alès Groupe’s operational subsidiaries are not involved.

The company is facing severe liquidity issues. On June 30, while publishing its 2019 results, Alès Groupe said at the end of May it had a cash balance of around 14.8 million euros and financial debt of approximately 96.8 million euros.

“In this context, the group is facing a significant need for liquidity and is continuing in this framework the sale and leaseback process of some of its real-estate assets and the strategic review of its assets,” Alès Groupe said in a statement at the time.

The group’s sales last year gained 2.7 percent on a like-for-like basis to 208.6 million euros. Meanwhile, Alès’ profits were down 39.1 million euros in 2019, versus a decline of 15.4 million euros in 2018.

Alès said its activity has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis that resulted in a distribution freeze in almost all European countries, followed by the U.S.

The group is now in a six-month observation period, which began on July 9.

“Alès Groupe management will seek all solutions allowing, under the best conditions, to continue the business, maintain employment and settle liabilities,” the company said in a statement, adding it would be open to finding new investors selling outright.

Alès Groupe’s stock will not resume trading on the Euronext Growth market, where it was suspending on June 29, until further notice.

Alès Groupe’s other brands include Jowaé, Kydra, Secret Professionnel and Subtil.

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