Caen (AFP)

With the flagship recycling of smartphones, the Remade group recruited in turn to Normandy to reach 680 people in 2019, but five years after its creation, it is threatened with liquidation, and suspected of false balance sheet.

"To mask the collapse of the group," Remade has "artificially inflated its turnover" with "accounting maneuvers," says Syndex in a confidential report of 90 pages, for the CSE, dated November, revealed by the Norman media The Octopus, and which AFP has a copy.

For its part, following a "report from a judicial administrator", the Coutances prosecutor's office opened on September 30 a preliminary investigation for false balance sheet and false invoices within this company in receivership for two months. He has since received a complaint from a group of equity investors in Remade.

The stakes are heavy. Thursday at 15h in front of the commercial court of Rouen, Remade group (500 employees including 330 today in its factory repackaging smartphones in Poilley, near Mont-Saint-Michel, according to the direction) risk a liquidation. In September the management posted 680 employees including 450 in Poilley.

Four offers have been filed but "not receivable in the state", according to Thomas Holland, the lawyer of the CSE. Above all, they would not prevent a social slaughter. Matthieu Millet, founder and former CEO of Remade offers to resume 143 employees but according to Mr. Holland this offer "ridiculous" requires prior approval of the prosecutor.

Matthieu Millet has been repeatedly banned from running businesses. "No one is at this stage named" by the investigation opened in Coutances, however, says the floor.

The other three candidates (Recommerce, SFIT, Takara) would only have 15 to 32 employees.

It is that Remade presents itself with a dote of 25,000 to 33,000 refurbished IPhones according to the direction but with a very heavy refinancing need (90 million end of August according to Syndex).

- wrong vision of reality -

The time is not so far, however, where Remade had many hopes in this rural corner of Normandy by announcing waves of recruitment. According to Syndex "the workforce more than doubled between 2016 and 2018, from 163 to 370 employees" at Remade SAS.

But, according to the firm, the turnover posted behind these hirings is only an illusion. Syndex notes for example a "billing scheme" with the mobile wholesaler Sofydis "that does not correspond to any real transaction". This "accounting manipulation" makes it possible to "overstate by 40%" the 2018 turnover of 69 million euros.

Thus, the very young company has, according to Syndex, been able to "produce a seductive speech for funders looking for technological nuggets": in 2014-2019 Remade raises 200 million euros.

The cabinet suspects Remade to have "as of 2016 (...) masked (...) a situation already deficit" before this one becomes "critical" in 2018.

"The worsening of the difficulties has not slowed down (...) expenses appearing totally expensive," accuses Syndex, with "for several members of the management committee, a combination of expenses and salaries incommensurate with the size of the Group and absolutely not bearable by the economic model ".

The success story of the "nugget" is revealed in the eyes of Syndex a "frantic race to size not to make a flourishing group, but to quickly maximize its valuation by showing strong growth in turnover."

In a statement dated November 14 and posted on his facebook page Matthieu Millet denounces the "conclusions" of a report that "give a misleading view of reality" and announces a complaint for defamation.

"I can prove everything", "I sent the irrefutable evidence to the organs of the procedure," continued Monday the forty-year-old who left the group's presidency in June but remains a minority shareholder, in a long text on facebook.

The main shareholders of the group are LGT European Capital, the investment fund of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, and the French investment funds Idinvest (Eurazeo group).

© 2019 AFP