Two takeover offers have been tabled for the ailing France-based poultry supplier Groupe Doux, according to the French government.
In a statement, France’s Economy and Finance Ministry announced today (29 March) Ukraine-based, UK-listed poultry processor MHP and a consortium involving Doux’s majority shareholder – the French co-op Terrena – local poultry giant LDC and Saudi group Al-Munajem had submitted “partial recovery offers” for the embattled business.
“These offers appear serious and likely to provide credible recovery solutions,” the ministry said. “They still require discussions between the parties to consider how they would be implemented.
“The French state and local authorities will support any credible recovery plan that is likely to provide business opportunities for employees and breeders in the long term and to sustainably strengthen the French poultry industry. Already, the Brittany government, strongly involved in this case, has announced it is ready to take part in a recovery project for Doux with support of up to EUR15m (US$18.4m).
“These offers will be the subject of an analysis by the Commercial Court of Rennes during April, which will determine the choice of buyer.”
The offer put forward by the consortium makes provision to invest EUR60m in new facilities while retaining some of Doux’s workforce.
The consortium’s proposal entails building new slaughtering and processing facilities in Châteaulin, costing EUR55m – where Doux has operations – specialising in serving the B2B and foodservice segments.
By 2020, these facilities would employ 250 staff and have a slaughtering capacity of 400,000 chickens per week, according to the proposal.
The existing Doux site will be rented out to its main customer, Saudi group Al-Munajem, and specialise in frozen goods for export.
The consortium’s offer also entails keeping on Doux’s processed products activities in Quimper in Brittany and retaining the entire workforce. Some EUR5m would be invested in the site to try to strengthen its competitiveness in international markets.
As for Doux’s plant in Chantonnay, the consortium is committed to offering all of the workforce jobs in plants operated by LDC’s Arrivé Maître Coq subsidiary.
As for the bid from MHP, media reports quoted a statement from the company in which it said it would invest EUR76m as part of a plan focused on developing fresh chicken for the French market, supported by the construction of a factory in Brittany.