It was expected, it is now official. The SAM foundry, located in Decazeville in Aveyron, was placed, this Thursday, April 16, in compulsory liquidation by the Toulouse commercial court. This is not a surprise insofar as the decision had been requested by this same court during a hearing earlier this month.
For four years, this industrial site (in Aveyron land also weakened by the social plan within the Bosch factory in Rodez) has been a series of disappointments. After a first receivership by Chinese investors in 2017, the latter did not keep their industrial commitments and were pushed to exit by the Toulouse commercial court, thus causing a second placement in receivership at the end of the year. year 2019. Since then, the more than 350 employees of this foundry are in desperate expectation of a buyer.
Two more weeks to find a savior
Nevertheless, in its decision today, the court granted a stay of the SAM foundry, specializing in the design and production of aluminum components, particularly for electric and hybrid vehicles. The court leaves until September 30 to find another possible buyer, at the last minute, one might say.
“It’s a very short deadline, there is urgency. But the court can very well say on September 30 ‘there is nobody so we liquidate’. Now, the State and Renault, those who made sure that the two offers that we had cannot succeed, will have to move to find a solution, otherwise it will end very badly “, warns David Gistau, the departmental secretary of the CGT and representative of the union within the SAM.
The union representative refers to Sifa Technologies, a subsidiary of the Alty group, and the Lyon group Trinquier, two foundries specializing in aluminum which tried to submit bids in mid-July to save the industrial site, while several other foundries in France have crossed or are also going through a rough patch.
“My offer had conditions precedent, such as obtaining a State loan of seven million euros in exchange for the takeover of 250 employees, in addition to the million euros in equity that I I was ready to go, but I was not able to submit my offer to the commercial court. government carried out an audit in two hours and judged the project not financed, it was botched. The State trusts more in an American cabinet rather than in a French industrialist. I have 39 years of trade so we do not go not teach me how to make a business plan “, regrets Patrick Bellity, CEO of the Alty group who took a position in April 2021 on the SAM file, joined by La Tribune.
The entrepreneur, who does not hide being “disappointed“, had all the more the favor of the local elected officials but also of the employees.”From an industrial and economic standpoint, Mr. Bellity’s case was viable“, confirms David Gistau.
A possible return of CIE?
For many actors in the file, both politicians and trade unionists, but also internally within the SAM foundry, this audit and its conclusions had no other interest than to re-credibility a possible new offer from the group. Spanish CIE, the first potential buyer to position itself at the start of the year.
Problem, during March, his proposal to the site staff representatives had caused the plant to be blocked for 23 days. The Spanish group, a major automotive supplier, then proposed the takeover of only 150 employees, the end of many social benefits and the closure of the design office, a point which for the moment allows SAM to be more than a simple production workshop.
“We, our intentions remain the same: keep the design office, a five-year load plan, 250 jobs retained. So if the State and Renault will return to CIE with the same project, they will have the same result. we are not weathervanes who change their minds depending on the wind, “warns David Gistau.
In the meantime, the SAM foundry can continue its activity because the French manufacturer, its only client, has undertaken to maintain orders until March 2022.
“The decision of the Toulouse Commercial Court to place SAM in compulsory liquidation with pursuit d‘activity still does not allow d‘consider l‘future of‘company and puts ever greater pressure on employees and their families, I regret it (…) We must now take advantage of the 3-month period recovery d‘activity by the Renault group to find solutions that save a maximum of‘uses while preserving the‘expertise of the‘business and the know-how of its employees. I am ready to study all the proposals going in this direction (…) are d‘elsewhere engaged, Many times, to support the future buyer any site‘it is. “, reacted at the end of the day, the socialist president of the Occitanie region, Carole Delga.