Caen (AFP)

Justice must decide Thursday the fate of the young company Remade (reconditioning of smartphones) about to see disappear a large majority, if not all, of its 320 jobs.

After four hearings before the Commercial Court of Rouen in less than four months, the employees of Remade "are at the end of their tether," Sophia Garcia, CFDT secretary of the Social and Economic Committee (CSE), told AFP on Tuesday. The group launched in 2014 and whose main site is in Poilley, near Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche), had reached a workforce of 680 people in 2019 before being placed in receivership at the end of September.

At the last hearing on January 9, two takeover offers were presented to the court, which put its decision under advisement until Thursday. The judgment will be available at the registry at 9:00 a.m. and announced by management to employees Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in Poilley, according to the CFDT.

At the hearing, the CSE gave a favorable opinion, despite some reservations, to one of the offers, which the court examined much more thoroughly than the other: the British Suresh Radhakrishnan, who reaffirmed Tuesday at AFP "be determined to make Remade a success", proposes to take 118 jobs out of the approximately 320 remaining after the liquidations or partial takeovers of the subsidiaries. For that, he puts 3.3 million on the table via Forth Wave Technology, one of the companies he created in 2019.

The "personality and personal commitment" of the Briton who finances his offer from his own money and that of his family, rather put "confidence" in the CSE, said Thomas Hollande, the committee's lawyer.

His "business plan convinced" the committee because of the 25 years of experience displayed by Suresh Radhakrishnan in the sector "and his relationships in the growth markets, Russia, the Middle East and Great Britain", continued l 'lawyer.

- Remade, "a jewel" -

"I think Remade is a very good company, one of the few to do high-quality reconditioning. In more ways than one it is a gem of France," said after the closed-door hearing on January 9. Mr. Radhakrishnan.

Still, "3 million is good, but it may be insufficient," said Hollande.

According to the lawyer of the British Vincent Pellier, "the candidate buyer is very confident on obtaining, if necessary, additional funding" from partners "especially in Russia and the Middle East".

In addition Mr. Radhakrishnan promises to be present "at least three days a week" in the company, according to Me Pellier.

"It is a very reassuring element but at the same time the executives who assist him are people who were already there yesterday and who according to us did not necessarily learn all the lessons of the failure of Remade", estimates Me Holland.

The old management, the CSE no longer wants to hear about it. His secretary did not "even look" at the other offer presented to the court, brought by the founder and ex-CEO of Remade Matthieu Millet. According to Mr. Hollande "it is very highly improbable" that she will be retained.

Mr. Millet promises to take back 142 jobs with 1.3 million euros on the table. "I want to save my baby," he said on January 9.

Mr. Millet has in the past been banned from running several other businesses. Following a "report from a court administrator", Remade is also the subject of a preliminary investigation by the Rennes prosecution for false balance and false invoices. A group of capital investors in Remade filed a complaint.

"To hide the group's collapse," Remade "artificially inflated its turnover," said Syndex in a report for the CSE, dated November, which Millet denies.

The company has a stock of at least 25,000 IPhones refurbished according to management. In mid-December, employees destroyed nearly 7,000 phones to protest the financial conditions in the event of layoffs.

© 2020 AFP