Concomitantly, FINAREF and CETELEM have decided to develop their partnership on international credit activities by creating joint subsidiaries in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
This agreement marks a major step in the evolving CETELEM-FINAREF partnership. It comprises two parts.
1. The takeover by FINAREF, in October 2002, of management of FACET's outstanding loans.
A financial company founded in 1987, FACET is 51.55%-owned by FINAREF, 8.26% by CONFORAMA (PPR group subsidiaries) and 38.85% by CETELEM (BNP Paribas subsidiary). FACET handles the distribution and management of private cards and loans of customers of CONFORAMA stores. Relying on CETELEM operational facilities, FACET was managing outstanding credits of 1.16 billion euros as of 31 December 2000.
In October 2002, subject to approval by regulatory authorities, FINAREF will take over full management responsibility for that company's operations, with CETELEM withdrawing in consequence from FACET'S capital. This timing will permit a smooth transition to the new operating conditions.
CONFORAMA stores will continue to accept the Aurore Card until October 2005.
By taking over CETELEM's stake in FACET, FINAREF will strengthen its core business centred on private cards and consumer credit, where it is the third leading actor in France.
2. Development of international credit activities via creation of joint subsidiaries in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
FINAREF and CETELEM have decided to set up joint ventures to foster significant development of credit business under the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute group's brands in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. These joint subsidiaries will be 65%-owned by FINAREF and 35% by CETELEM's local subsidiaries.
These companies will serve the customers of brands existing in each country:
- EMMEZETA and FNAC in Italy
- CONFORAMA, FNAC, and La REDOUTE in Spain
- CONFORAMA and FNAC in Portugal.
They will exploit the operational facilities of CETELEM's local subsidiaries.
For the record, the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute group and CETELEM have previously concluded business agreements in several countries - Poland, Luxembourg, Taiwan - for the development of consumer credit under the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute group's retail brands. The partners may conclude similar business agreements in the future as to exploit development opportunities.
FINAREF offers a complete range of products and financial services in credit, insurance and savings, to customers of the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute group, and to other partners, in France and abroad. With €6,1 billion assets under management end of 2000 and over 8 million private label card holders and 14 million accounts, FINAREF is n°3 in consumer credit with the Printemps, Fnac, Conforama cards, the Kangourou card for La Redoute and specialised retailers of the Redcat group. Based of the brick and click strategy, its development relies on a multi-channel distribution that associates direct selling (call centres and electronic trade sites) and a network of over 400 outlets within the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute group.
CETELEM is today leader of the consumer finance specialists in France and in Europe with €19,4 billion assets under management end of 2000. Over the last 48 years, CETELEM has been the special partner to trade and supports the growth of major retail groups. CETELEM is also a partner of reference for banking establishments and insurance companies, to whom it brings its know-how in matters of credit. Cetelem, present in 21 countries, considers international development a major strategic line.