Article published on 14 December at 19:06, updated 16 December at 15:57
The government come to the aid of William Saurin and its parent company, Financière Turenne Lafayette. The State has indicated in a statement that it was “take its responsibilities to support the new management and employees”, after an audit revealed “a misleading presentation of the accounts for several years”. Commissioned by the new chairman of the food group Financière Turenne Lafayette, this audit was a follow-up to the death, last November 30, the sole shareholder Monique Piffau.
A decree published in the official journal has finally announced on Friday that the government was going to grant a loan of 70 million euros to the group. These funds will be released “no later than December 31,” from the fund of economic and social development (FDES) and then put “at the disposal of one or several companies of the group Financière Turenne Lafayette,” says the order.
false invoices and false advances on the stock would have been found in the accounts. The French group has announced that the recovery would take several weeks and several months, highlighting the non-knowledge of such fraud before the audit. The accounts would have been “embellished” to hide some financial difficulties.
“It would seem that these deceptions were for the purpose of maintaining the financing of the group” was as well referred to a spokeswoman, that within a very difficult context in the agri-food sector and “for certain subsidiaries of the group, in particular,”.
Back up to 3,200 jobs and 21 industrial sites
In a joint press release of the ministries of Economy and Agriculture, the State responded quickly, indicating want to allow the backup of 3,200 direct jobs to the group, spread across 21 industrial sites that manufacture for a variety of brands. Because the food group Financière Turenne, it is not only William Saurin, but also Madrange, Garbit, PetitJean, Soulié, black Mountain, the caterer Ecochard, hams Paul Prédault, or the Lampaulaise of processed meats in the Finistère.
The representatives of the firms the government have also announced the entry of justice to determine those responsible and the causes of these fraudulent practices.
“If there is a need, there will be a financial support from the State to ensure that we avoid a scenario of liquidation. For us, it was important to bring this insurance to suppliers, customers and employees”, said the cabinet in their joint statement.
They have also announced a number of meetings with suppliers, customers, banks and trade union organizations in the next few days.
“the question for the State to enter the capital of the group.’
This is a real assumption of responsibility on the part of the State that will provide aid of € 70 million in the food group after having considered that the situation was “a risk to the sustainability of the group”.
However, on Thursday, the secretary of State for Industry, Christophe Sirugue, said on the radio Europe1 that the commitment of the State had limits :
“It is not a matter of course to enter the capital of this group, but to provide an activity that can continue during the coming months.” “We are thinking rather of (…) help with a loan side of the banks to be able to allow the continuity of the activity”, as the State had done at the beginning of 2015 for the glass Arc International, he said.
For the time being, the management of the company also stated that it is mobilizing “to seek ways and means to ensure the continuation of the activities and keep the jobs of the companies in the group”, according to its press release. They have announced that the various tracks could be envisaged, in particular, the opening of capital to find new ways of financing.
A spokesman for the group told AFP in the aftermath of the death of the shareholder: “there is no risk of the dismantling of the group because the owner, very attached to the companies, had expressed his desire to”.
trade union Pressure on the government
But the union Fnaf-CGT feared already this dismantling, and had claimed in a statement that the backup of “the integrity group” and wanted to avoid “the butchering, the vultures of the legal profession that would be unacceptable and that would mean new purges” for the employees.
added to this Is the reaction of the secretary-general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, who said Thursday, “absolutely outrageous” the makeup of the group’s accounts and called for “a mobilization of the State” so that “the current leaders do not pay for their mistakes of yesterday” to 3.200 employees. He also added the necessity of a “counter-power” in the business and has denounced the pressure put on trade unionists to prevent the accounting expertise proposed at different times.