Embattled French poultry giant Groupe Doux went to court today (12 July) in an attempt to stop its drivers from taking strike action.

According to local reports, “thousands” of drivers have said they will stop work if payment for around 8,000 bills are not honoured by 13 July.

Doux, which went into administration in June, last month received the necessary cash flow to guarantee its day-to-day running. Negotiations, however, are continuing to find the full capital necessary to see Doux through its six-month period under court protection and pay off arrears owing to breeders, which run into tens of millions of euros, which takes precedence over the refinancing of Doux’s debts.

Doux said it is asking the lorry drivers involved in the potential stoppage not to “add a crisis to a crisis”.

“Their case like those of the breeders will be heard tomorrow as a priority by the judicial administrators. The administrators are very aware of the harm being done to the small and medium enterprises by the transporters involved and of their fragility. The common interest of the transporters is to ensure a continuity of business.”

Doux added: “The administrators would like to remind the drivers as to the consequences which would unfold from a day of stoppage in terms of loss of turnover in an already critical period. This day would have no possible advantage for the transporters.”

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In the meantime, ten takeover bids have been submitted for the group, including from Financière Turenne Lafayette, LDC, Tilly-Sabco and Terrena. Independent of these bids, Doux’s current shareholders have also submitted a plan to continue to run the business.