US: Teamsters warns Picard Surgeles over private-equity interest
A US union has warned workers at French frozen food manufacturer Picard Surgeles about the impact of a possible takeover by private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).
CD&R is understood to be considering a bid for Picard Surgeles and The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has written to the heads of three unions in France - CGT, CFDT and FO – detailing “the disturbing aftermath” of CD&R-led takeovers.
Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa said that CD&R's participation in the acquisition of Hertz in 2006 was the work of “fast-buck artists” after the firms involved used Hertz assets to pay themselves a US$1bn special dividend and eliminate 1,500 jobs.
Hoffa added that the purchase of Foodservice led to “facility closures, layoffs and loss of market share”.
“CD&R is now leading US Foodservice down a contentious and destructive path," Hoffa said in the letter. “Under CD&R leadership, US Foodservice continues to disregard the rights of its employees, undermining long-term growth through continued mismanagement, assets sales and cost-cutting.
"I sincerely hope that your unions can avoid a similar leveraged buyout by any firm interested more in extracting and turning deals than continuing to build upon the strong legacy of Picard Surgeles. In our experience, a CD&R takeover can truly hurt workers, their families and entire communities,” he added.
Hoffa has offered to work with CGT, CFDT and FO to avoid any leveraged buy out for Picard Surgeles.
The private equity firm declined to comment when contacted by just-food.
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