"I am not doing blackmail, we are playing our survival".
The words of Emmanuel Commault, Managing Director of Cooperl, visibly caught the attention of the Ministry of the Economy.
Installed in Brittany, the boss of the French leader of the pork had threatened "to stop all the recruitments, all the investment projects", evoking in the passage "a hard restructuring plan", and the "closing of factories", if his group was to immediately pay the fine imposed by the Competition Authority.
Targeted in the "ham cartel" case, the Cooperl was fined 35.5 million euros for price cartels that took place between 2010 and 2013. In total, twelve companies were targeted for a global fine of 93 million euros.
This Wednesday, the Ministry of the Economy wanted to be reassuring, referring to "deadline conditions compatible with the repayment capacity of the Cooperl Arc Atlantique group".
The Cooperl had appealed
In its press release, Bercy ensures that it wants to avoid "that the fine does not represent a risk for the activity of the group" and the employment of its 7,200 employees, mainly located in the Great West.
The cooperative based in Lamballe, in the Côtes d'Armor, had appealed the decision.
This is not suspensive, the Cooperl asks for a delay to pay the hefty fine.
The factories affected by a possible closure are among the twelve acquired as part of the takeover of Brocéliande at the end of 2009 and the assets of the financial holding company Turenne Lafayette in 2017, owner in particular of the Paul Prédault, Madrange and Montagne Noire brands.
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CA with AFP