This Thursday, September 16, the commercial court delivered its deliberation on the SAM foundry in Viviez. Judicial liquidation with continuation of activity for three months to promote a possible sale of the company.
Following the hearing on September 3, the Toulouse Commercial Court issued its deliberation concerning its judgment on the SAM foundry in Viviez, which has 340 jobs. As might be expected, given the end of the observation period opened in December 2019 within the framework of the receivership, the commercial court ended this observation period and pronounced the compulsory liquidation of Viviez society.
Continuation of activity until December 10, 2021
However, the court authorizes an exceptional continuation of activity for a period of three months, that is to say until December 10 next “in order to support a possible sale of the company”. To justify its decision, the court notes that “The prospective buyers could not present to the court administrators finalized takeover offers, the State and the Renault group not wishing to participate in their financing. That in addition, the expert’s report revealed a lack of own funds for these potential assignees. That despite the delays granted in the procedure, fully funded offers could not be received by the court administrators. That the procedural deadlines have expired and that thus the judicial liquidation procedure is required with a continuation of activity, which will make it possible to finalize the work in progress and to relaunch the transfer process ”.
The court also notes that the Renault group confirmed by email of July 28 to support SAM in terms of financing the operation and the investments required during the period of continued activity.
Ghislaine Gistau: “There is an emergency”
The judicial administrators are maintained during the period of liquidation with continuation of activity; and exercise their prerogatives as liquidators; prepare the disposal plan if necessary, carry out the acts necessary for its realization; and where appropriate may proceed with redundancies.
For Ghislaine Ghistau, CGT employee representative: “We have passed the 18 months of receivership. It is urgent because the liquidation period is short to find a buyer. Either Renault and the State have a candidate and things will happen quickly or it will be more complicated.
Renault is committed to SAM until March 2022. Everyone hopes that a takeover offer will be made by September 30 to get out of this situation which is not good for anyone, the employees are in it both morally and physically exhausted ”. In the Basin, everyone hopes for a favorable outcome.
Trade-in offers to be submitted by September 30
A new period is therefore opening to submit an offer to take over the SAM foundry in Viviez. But this period is very short: the Toulouse Commercial Court has set September 30 at 12 noon as the deadline for submitting offers taken over by court administrators.
And if necessary, the judicial administrators will then have to communicate to the clerk of the commercial court the contact details of any candidates for the takeover before October 7 so that these candidates are summoned and the takeover offers can be examined at a hearing. next October 22.
For that, you therefore need an offer or offers before September 30 …
Patrick Bellity (former CEO of SAM from 1998 to 2016, Alty group): “We had an end of inadmissibility by the State since Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said that our offer was not credible. Of which act.
From the moment the state refused the loan of 7 million euros that we had requested; the region overnight, it was more sound and more image, we understood that it was over. We have wasted enough time. I was very angry because I don’t like wasting my time. It is not worth saying that there is aid if it is not to save jobs. I have the impression of having done the hare for the Spaniards. I think they will come back and then there you go. ! They got the Spaniards out so they wouldn’t do the Grant-Thornton audit; they torpedoed us with Grant-Thornton and now, as if by chance, the Spaniards will come back with the same proposal as me, take over 250 jobs, keep the design office. You’ll see…
Ultimately, I am satisfied to have allowed my intervention to save 100 more jobs and keep the design office. I will not have entered the race in March, the file was just 150 people. Since there was no one there, they would have been forced to agree one way or another.
Business is business. The ministry announces through the mouth of the minister that the offers of Messrs Bellity and Schrüfer are not credible. I do not accept this term of not credible. That we say that our offers are perhaps not sufficiently funded, I am willing to admit it especially since we do not have the loans, but there is no industrial credibility, that I do not accept. They are not going to teach me my trade; no one is going to teach me how to foundry; whether it is the minister, the regional president or the deputies, no one is going to teach me what a foundry is, how to run it and how to straighten it.
Now, if tomorrow I am told that my offer industrially makes sense and that they are ready to finance me, well I am obviously ready to reopen the file, I am not angry with anyone. But at this time, I will not resubmit the same offer to be told again that it is not funded. We had worked a lot, we got high, I had seen other clients, I had started to prepare for the future, we had imagined a lot. It is clear that industrial credibility existed. We cannot be told that we are not industrially credible. It is not the indebted state today that will give us management lessons ”.
Marcus Schrüfer (Trinquet group): “I’m not going to move to resubmit an offer. I find the way it turned out this summer is not correct. If Renault prefers to put 6 million euros in the procedure rather than loaning them to a buyer, we know the final outcome, everyone can make their own conclusions … I find that a shame because we need aluminum foundries for the automobile in France. We are gradually closing the foundries and not suddenly so that it is not too visible. SAM is the last one with a design office. If it disappears it’s terrible because we lose the know-how We can replace machines but not the know-how It’s sad ”.
François Marty (President of Decazeville community, mayor of Decazeville): “We are very worried. The SAM is our essential industrial boat in the Basin Today we can clearly see that the buyers who had been identified on the eve of the holidays, following the report were not retained, both by the court, the administrators, the state and Renault. We are very worried about whether there will be a buyer because otherwise it would be a disaster. Is CIE coming back? We are on standby… ”
Christian Tieulié (Departmental Councilor): “A liquidation is something serious. I would have liked to have taken advantage of the time before the liquidation to find a French industrialist as part of a recovery plan, which could save part of SAM’s activity. However, we have been shown that the operators who had offered themselves were not financially up to the task. At a time when the government wants to reindustrialize France, I think that we have not played the game. This company could have been saved by an operator for example Patrick Bellity, a French industrialist with a real project for SAM. We could have found the solution within the framework of the recovery plan. We felt from the start that the discussions were skewed and that with the audit firm we knew that it was the end for the offers. I regret that there was no support. This is a bad blow for employment in the Basin, because even if CIE comes back, it is for less jobs and when they have the solution to manufacture the SAM parts, they will not keep SAM. I fear this scenario ”.
Pascal Mazet (Regional Councilor): “I am not surprised by this decision. I hope, and I will work with the employees, so that there is a buyer, because the Basin and our territory need SAM. We need to work and we need reindustrialisation. Reindustrialization must not be just words, it takes action! I expect the government to do what is necessary to reindustrialize our country, which is not the case today.
Carole Delga (President of the Occitanie region): “First of all, I would like to renew all my support for the employees and their union representatives who have been fighting for several months with dignity and responsibility for the future of their company and the industrial area of Decazeville. The decision of the Toulouse Commercial Court to place the SAM in compulsory liquidation with continued activity still does not allow us to envisage the future of the company and places ever greater pressure on employees and their families, I regret.
The Region got involved in this difficult file from the start of 2020, aware of the company’s delicate situation, in order to find solutions with staff representatives, the State and local elected officials. We have moreover undertaken, on several occasions, to support the future buyer of the site, whatever it may be. It is clear that the offers submitted, until then, did not ensure the viability and the future of the site.
This is why, even if I take note today of the decision of the commercial court, the determination of the Region is intact and I will continue to fight to ensure a sustainable future for this company. It is now necessary to take advantage of the 3-month period of resumption of activity by the Renault group to find solutions that make it possible to save as many jobs as possible while preserving the expertise of the company and the know-how of its employees. employees. I am prepared to study all proposals in this direction.
At a time when the economic recovery is taking shape, France more than ever needs a strong industrial project and a massive commitment from the public authorities. The future of SAM is the perfect illustration of this, for the activity and revival of our territories.
I also remain very mobilized in favor of the creation of an interministerial working group on the future of the European sector with a view to the end of the thermal engine in 2035, as well as the establishment of States General of the automotive industry, in order to better anticipate the upheavals facing businesses and subcontractors in this sector, which is essential for our economy and the future of our industry. “