Camaïeu was put into compulsory liquidation, 2,600 jobs were cut and more than 500 stores were closed

The northern ready-to-wear giant cannot resist the crisis affecting the sector. The shareholder’s last attempt to avoid this outcome until the last moment by seeking state aid did not bear fruit. The Commercial Court of Lille announced, Wednesday, September 28, that Camaïeu has been put into compulsory liquidation, which will lead to the elimination of 2,600 jobs in the company, two years after the acquisition of its shareholder. “Court converts receivership into judicial liquidation”said its president, which brought tears to the eyes of the employees who came to listen to the deliberations.

The shareholder, Hermione People and Brands (HPB), seems to still believe on Wednesday in a favorable result for the brand, placed in receivership on 1er August. The maintenance plan presented to the court may possibly limit the damage, with 500 jobs being cut. He said he was ready in the morning, like the Hauts-de-France region, to inject more money to avoid liquidation, but on the condition that the State also provides financial support.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Camaïeu requested that it be placed in receivership

“The shareholder is willing to settle for a financing round with additional financing”ensured the management of HPB, its president, Wilhelm Hubner, who called “all public actors, State and local authorities” in one “urgent meeting”. HPB indicated on Monday that it requested an advance of 48 million euros from the State, but Bercy ruled that this request was not. “realistic”the State cannot “shareholders will never be replaced”.

The shareholder hopes to gain time to relaunch his brand, beset by the health crisis and a costly cyberattack. “Time is serious, everyone needs to be mobilized”, insisted Mr. Hubner on Wednesday. A total of 79.2 million euros is needed, according to HPB, in the next eight months to ensure, among other things, purchases for the autumn-winter season and to prepare the spring collection.

The Minister Delegate for Industry, Roland Lescure, regretted the imposition of judicial liquidation in Camaïeu, which he described as “big disappointment”while confirming that the priority of the State remains to accompany the employees. “The recovery plan is not so much known as a business plan that fits on one page, I can’t commit more than 70 million [d’euros] in the State, I regret that we came to this”did he declare.

“A worrying sign of resignation”

The plan provides for an outlay of 14 million euros from Financière immobilière bordelaise owned by businessman Michel Ohayon – of which HPB is a subsidiary – to buy the Camaïeu headquarters and warehouse in Roubaix. That should be it “appreciated” and resold for an estimated value of between 55 and 60 million. HPB “only one” to be able to save the sign, after the withdrawal of various candidates for acquisition, including the American fund Gordon Brothers, pleaded on Monday Mr. Hubner, with Agence France-Presse.

About fifty employees, many wearing CGT and CFDT vests, gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing to welcome the shareholder representatives to shouts of “Shame on you, Camaïeu undertakers. » “I do not see how a decision other than judicial liquidation can be given”, estimated the lawyer of CSE, Justine Candat. At the end of a CSE on Tuesday, the internal union UPAE and the CGT said themselves “well kept” management ability to secure funding. According to Thierry Siwik of CGT, “two potential investors” expressed interest in another project established by his union, asking, without success, “more court time” to explore this avenue.

“Judicial liquidation would be a scandal and a worrying sign of resignation”tweeted before the announcement of the court of different rights mayor of Roubaix, Guillaume Delbar. “The fate of 2,600 families is at stake”he pointed out.

According to HPB, the sign changed after a ruling by the Court of Cassation that imposed at the end of June on the businessmen to pay the unpaid rent during the Covid period. Their value amounted to 70 million euros from a total of 240 million loans, said Mr. Hubner. By taking 511 of the 634 brand stores in France and about 2,600 employees out of more than 3,100, HPB has given itself two years in 2020 to restore the balance of the brand, which was founded in 1984.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Camaïeu: the concern affects again 2,600 employees, the brand owes millions of euros to its donors

The World with AFP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *