French care homes group Orpea to resume trading, present new strategy after scandal

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Care homes company Orpea, hit by accusations of malpractice at its French retirement homes, said it would resume trading on financial markets on Wednesday and unveil a new strategy next month.

The news comes after France's market regulator AMF suspended trading this week in the company's shares and bonds. In June, Orpea said an independent audit had found evidence of financial wrongdoing, including inflated labour expenses and suspiciously large payments to third parties, but did not support all the accusations against it that appeared in "Les Fossoyeurs" ('The Gravediggers'), a book by independent journalist Victor Castanet published earlier this year.

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Orpea said on Wednesday it would present a new strategy plan on Nov. 15, and anticipated asset impairments as of Dec. 31 at between 2.1 billion euros and 2.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion-$2.5 billion) before tax.

"In order to ensure the implementation of the transformation plan that I will present on November 15, in a challenging macroeconomic context that has impacted operating performance as well as the asset disposal program, and in view of the risk of depreciation on certain assets, I have requested the opening of an amicable conciliation procedure benefiting the ORPEA SA legal entity," Orpea CEO Laurent Guillot said in a statement.


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