French Consortium Bids For Poultry Group Doux
Six French companies, led by oilseed group Sofiproteol, submitted a joint offer on Thursday for debt-burdened poultry group Doux, which went into administration in early June, threatening 3,400 workers and 800 farmers in France, Reuters reported. Family-owned Doux, one of the world's biggest poultry exporters, has been weighed down by debts of 340 million euros ($423 million) and administrators had launched a call for bids, with a deadline on Thursday ahead of a commercial court hearing on July 16. Sofiproteol said that through its subsidiary Glon Sanders, it would lead the consortium consisting of poultry firms Duc, LDC and Tilly-Sabco, and farm cooperatives Terrena and Triskalia. Sofiproteol is a holding company for a series of farm-sector companies, centred on oilseed crops and derived products, but which also extends to animal feed, egg and pig-breeding sectors. The offer will be joint and coordinated by the oilseed growers-owned group, but each company involved will take over part of the activities, the former chief executive of Sofiproteol and chairman of Glon, Philippe Tillous-Borde, told a conference call. He said the joint offer, which will be submitted to Doux employees on Friday morning, concerned all the activities of the poultry group, including exports, fresh and transformed poultry products and animal feed, but he could not confirm that all jobs would be maintained. Doux is 80 percent family-owned, with the remainder held by French bank BNP Paribas. The offer does not include a reimbursement of Doux's debts to financial institutions. Doux said last month its debt included 140 million euros to British bank Barclays. Read more.