French flower shop closes after £40m takeover
French flower shops have been closed after being bought by a Chinese company.
The shops in the French city of Lyon, where a £40 million takeover bid was announced on Tuesday, were the last in town to reopen.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the businesses had been shut down due to a lack of money.
The businesses had “exceeded expectations” and their owners had received “no compensation for the loss of profits”, Mr Macron said in a statement.
The closure comes after the closure of the largest flower shops in France, including a number of the city’s biggest, after it was sold to a Chinese buyer in December.
“I am very disappointed by this sudden and unexpected decision,” Mr Macron added.
French authorities said the sale of the French flower and artisan market had not been authorised by the government.
“We had to do a lot of work, and there were lots of negotiations with the government,” said a worker at a local flower shop.
“The sale of flower and artisans is illegal, and this is what we are dealing with.
It’s not about the market.
We had to fight with our neighbours.”
Mr Macron did not give any details about the buyer.
A spokeswoman for the state department said the department had not received any formal requests for information from the owners of the businesses.
“State departments office has not received formal requests from the authorities for information about the sale and ownership of flower, artisans, and flower and flower shops,” said Victoria Kuehn, a department spokeswoman.