One of France’s leading pork processors, Gad SAS, is planning to seek court protection amid mounting losses.

“Management informed the works council yesterday (13 February) of its intention to request the group be placed under judicial administration. This will be put to vote at a works council meeting on 21 February,” a spokesman for Gad told just-food.

The Brittany-based firm is majority-owned by food co-operative CECAB and employs 1,700 staff across four locations. It posted a 2012 turnover of EUR453m and processed EUR2.4m pigs.

“Gad SAS has lost a lot of money over the past three years and structural measures must be taken if it is to survive. Effort have been made to stablise the group’s financial postion but these have been insufficient.”

He said the group’s difficulties reflected the poor market conditions currently affecting the French pork sector.

A union official said Gad’s volume of business was only half of its production capacity and it was unlikely it could hold out for long.

In 2011, just-food reported that CECAB was looking to sell Gad SAS but a buyer was never found.