Luxury French grocery chain Hediard files for bankruptcy

PARIS (AFP) - A luxury French grocery chain owned by Russian tycoon Sergei Pugachev has filed for bankruptcy, a source close to the case said Monday.

Hediard, which has stores and dedicated shop corners in 30 countries, including Madagascar and Vietnam, declared itself insolvent at a commercial court in Paris, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

A hearing is due to take place on Thursday to determine whether an administrator should be appointed, the source added.

The luxury grocer, which started out in 1854 in Paris as a small shop of exotic foods, also counts one restaurant in Moscow and six cafes in countries such as Singapore.

Its foray onto the international scene started in 1973 when it opened in Japan and it has since expanded substantially.

In 2007, the Luxadvor group, controlled by Pugachev, bought it in a deal that was due to help it expand abroad even more. But it has been losing money for six years.