Remade employees in front of a stock of used smartphones, December 13, 2019. - Damien Meyer / AFP
Justice validated Thursday the takeover of the Norman company Remade (refurbished smartphones) which involves the abolition of 211 posts out of 328. However, the staff representatives threaten to block the operation, at the risk of a total closure, if they do not get supralegal compensation for the licensees from the shareholders.
The Rouen Commercial Court "ordered the sale" of the assets to the company Fourth Wave Technology (created in 2019 by Suresh Radhakrishnan) despite a "low" redemption price of 3.3 million euros. The Remade group, based in Poilley (Manche), near Mont-Saint-Michel, and launched in 2014, had reached a workforce of 680 people in 2019 before being placed, with its subsidiaries, in receivership at the end of September.
Request for supralegal compensation
During the closed-door hearing of January 9, of which the court published an account Thursday, the administrators had expressed like the parquet floor a favorable opinion, underlining the capacity of the candidate to "exchange in all transparency". In addition, the British "has export openings that seem essential," they added.
The second offer presented on January 9, by the founder and former CEO Matthieu Millet, who proposed to take over more employees (142), for 1.3 million euros, is therefore rejected. For the controller of the AGS (wage guarantee scheme), Matthieu Millet's offer "can be described as dangerous and irrational".
But at the end of a general assembly, without media, in the brand new premises of Remade in Poilley, the CFDT secretary of the CSE Sophia Garcia announced in the afternoon that the employees were going to "prevent the takeover of the company as long as »the shareholders did not grant supralegal compensation to the licensees.
The employees "sequester" since Tuesday evening the 25,000 smartphones in stock, according to the CFDT. "The employees are united, refuse to be despised again and are ready to risk being dismissed so that their colleagues who will be dismissed are compensated for the damage they have suffered," added CSE lawyer Thomas Holland.
"Feeling like you are at the slaughterhouse"
They claim 3 million euros from the shareholders, "Idinvest, one of the main French funds which belongs to Eurazeo, whose vice-chairman of the supervisory board is Jean-Pierre Raffarin", LGT, "the main shareholder, which depends on Lichtenstein "And Matthieu Millet, continued the council.
"Compared to the 200 million invested by the shareholders in the company, it is almost ridiculous what we are asking," insisted the lawyer. The Macron law removed in 2015 the obligation for groups to contribute to the financing of PES of companies in receivership or compulsory liquidation.
The shareholders “committed faults directly at the origin of the bankruptcy of Remade (…) and we will go to initiate all possible legal actions in civil and criminal so that they pay and they are found responsible,” said Me Holland.
Questioned by AFP, on this announcement of employees, the buyer indicated that he "understood". The start of the resumption has been set for January 21. Matthieu Millet has in the past been banned from managing several other businesses. Remade is also the subject of a preliminary investigation for false balance sheet and false invoices.
At the end of the day on Thursday, weariness prevailed among the employees. In favor of blocking the recovery, Nathalie, 54, Chrystel, 49, Agnes, 59, did not yet know their fate, but would like to be dismissed. “Today, we felt like we were at the slaughterhouse. At my age, it's going to be difficult to find a job, but I'm tired of it all. And then, we leave with the same management team, then, if it is to start again (bankruptcy note) in a year… ”, confides Nathalie.
Virginie, 33 years old and two children, appreciates the hours here (9 am-5pm) and says that she does not want to find those of the retirement homes where she previously worked, but also wants to leave. A little further, an employee who lives alone with three young children is not ready to take the risk that everyone is fired and would like to stay.
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