20.05.2022 Finance International

Care giant Orpea may push profit over care

Barely a month goes by without a news on Orpea: after the publication in January of the investigative book “Les Fossoyeurs” (“The Gravediggers” in English) – a damning exposé on the Group’s nursing homes – here comes a new scandal involving Luxembourgish holding Lipany.

New twist in Orpea case: according to journalists from Mediapart and Investigate Europe, Luxembourgish holding Lipany accumulated almost 93 million euros of assets in 2019, especially shares in various nursing homes and residences run by Orpea across Europe. But despite this significant estate, the holding – owned by Orpea Italia former CEO Roberto Tribuno – has never made any profit or distributed any dividend but rather carried out “dubious financial operations”.

Contacted by Investigate Europe, Tribuno denied any wrongdoing, insisting that “his companies operate in full compliance” with “the applicable civil, accounting and tax regulations.”

Orpea, for its part, refused to make any official comment since “some of the facts identified have been brought to the public prosecutor”. Indeed, Orpea recently announced in a press release that the group had filed a complaint against unnamed persons for misuse of corporate assets.

Orpea already took disciplinary actions, leading some people to leave the group – like former Financial Director Sébastien Mesnard who used to work in “close cooperation” with Lipany – although it specified that “this has nothing to do with the reception and care of residents”.

While Orpea stock price significantly dropped (-64%) since suspicion of mistreatment of residents, embezzlement of state funds, forgery and violation of labor laws, these new revelations may worsen the situation. Yesterday afternoon, a few hours after public disclosure by Mediapart and Investigate Europe, Orpea stock price went down by 13,05%.

To be continued?