Sunday, May 22

The tumble on the stock market continues for Orpea after its questioning in a book

An elderly woman in a hallway of an nursing home, near Nantes, in 2021LOIC VENANCE

The action of the group of retirement homes Orpea lost more than 20% on the Paris Stock Exchange on Tuesday, following its questioning in a book denouncing serious failures in its investments.

The title plunged 20.35% to 55.18 euros, after a 24-hour suspension of its quotation.

Orpea, followed by other groups of accommodation establishments for the elderly or dependent (Ehpad) on the Paris Stock Exchange, had fallen on Monday after the publication in Le Monde of the “good leaves” of a book-investigation. The independent journalist Victor Castanet describes a system where hygiene care, medical care, and even residents’ meals are “rationed” to improve profitability.

“I obtained testimonies according to which these dysfunctions had their origin in a policy of cost reduction implemented at a high level” of the company, summarized the author with AFP. The book comes out Wednesday.

The company “formally challenged” Monday evening the accusations, which it considers “false, outrageous and prejudicial”.

“We do not ration, it does not correspond to our directives, it does not correspond to our values”, declared Jean-Christophe Romersi, director general of Orpea, on Tuesday evening on BFM TV. “We will never sacrifice the quality of support, the quality of care to any notion of profitability whatsoever,” he added.

For Laurent Berger, secretary general of the CFDT, “if the situation is that described in the book, it is a pure scandal”. “We must denounce, we must control, we must punish if it is proven,” he said on RTL.

“If the facts denounced are proven, some of them are unacceptable and likely to be condemned”, commented for its part in a press release the AD-PA, the Association of directors in the service of the elderly.

The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, assured Tuesday on LCI “to take very seriously” the book, while wanting to wait for “factual elements”.

The Minister Delegate for Autonomy, Brigitte Bourguignon, said Tuesday evening in a press release that she was going to summon the CEO of Orpea “as soon as possible so that he explains the situation in the group’s Ehpad”.

“I could also carry out an independent inspection mission with the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (Igas) to investigate at group level,” she said.

Other groups in the same sector were affected, including Korian, which lost 4.80% to 22.62 euros, after falling nearly 15% on Monday.

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