Paris, Printemps and predatory finance

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The famous Printemps department store on the boulevard Haussmann in Paris (pictured) is up for sale. On the surface it is just another routine high-end Paris property transaction. But behind the scenes, reveals Mediapart, one of the current owners is preparing a 'predatory' financial deal that would see a handful of its top executives walk away with up to 500 million euros. Meanwhile the real cost of the sale will fall on the department store's staff, who could be left without a job or put on less secure work contracts. Martine Orange reports.

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The well-known Printemps department store chain was put up for sale last December. It is part of a large-scale property transaction, now quite common in Paris, where giant investment funds and financiers from around the world fight it out behind closed doors over the rich property pickings in the French capital.