The due diligence investigation by Casino and the banks has proven to be more time consuming than initially envisaged. It is now expected that this investigation will be completed by 25th April 2002. We do however still expect that the definitive agreement will be signed no later than 15th May 2002. Further announcements with respect to the proposed transaction will be made around that date.
On 7 March 2002, Laurus NV announced it reached an agreement in principle with Casino SA and ABN AMRO Bank, ING Bank and Rabobank to raise Eur 400 million of new equity and to reschedule existing bank debt. At that time, it was envisaged that the due diligence by Casino and the banks would be completed no later than 15th April 2002 and that signing of the definitive agreement would take place no later than 15th May 2002.