This new deadline will confirm the takeover bid for the French-Belgian Altifort and find an agreement with Vallourecom, a shareholder and a current steel buyer.
It was expected: the final decision on the Ascofta case was postponed. The Chamber of Commerce of the High Court in Strasbourg decided on Wednesday to return its decision on the recovery of Steel Saint-Saulve (North) on bankruptcy on December 12. This new deadline, following a two-week suspension given at the end of October, must confirm the takeover bid of the French-Belgian Altifort and find an agreement with Vallourecom, a shareholder and a current steel mill buyer, said staff representatives and Altifort after a very short hearing.
"All parties are aware that there is one last card to play and that it takes time to finish," Bruno Kopczynski, CFDT trade union representative and interior spokeswoman Bruno Kopczynski said, saying December 12 would be "the last discussion". "Five weeks is fine, allowing everyone to keep the pressure to speed things up," he added. "If we do not get there for five weeks, we will not be able to do it at all."
After a week of blockade, 281 employees returned to work Monday in steel mills at Saint-Saulve, specializing in special steels and created in 1975 by Valloureca. After becoming Ascual 2017, the elevator waits for legal liquidation in February of the Asco Industries group, to which Vallourec, whose state shareholder, sold 60 percent of the plant, retaining 40 percent of the obligation to order.
Bid for consolidation
At the end of October, the horizon was released for employees when the French-Belgian group Altifort, the only steel-buying candidate, took over the plant, considered "firm and credible" by consulting firm Roland Berger, authorized by Bercy. The government, which nevertheless noticed the persistent "weaknesses" in terms of finance and the order book, said it would solve this "early December" issue. "I am convinced that this is enough time to complete the file, provided everyone is working in the same direction," said Altifort Bart Gruyaert, head of the court. Ascalto now has to find new customers to compensate Vallourec's departure. "Many clients come with great interest and see that today we have more interest than capacity," said Bart Gruyaert.
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Altifort's group initially submitted a takeover bid, which implied that French head of the Vallourec, 40% Ascofona's shareholder and the current chief purchaser of the plant, would retain control for 18 months. However, a specialist in seamless steel tubes, hit by a net loss of 307 million euros in the first half, has rejected this option. Bercy finally asked Altiforta to examine his copy, excluding any share in Vallourec, of which 17% of the shareholders were, and to modify the economic model of the Ascoval production plant, encouraging him, on the one hand, to seek new customers to spread their products and, On the other hand, by abandoning ordinary steel production, it is unprofitable compared to the competition of large steel producers.
The new plan drawn up by Altifort after the Ministry's comments provides for the development of bids on higher value-added materials, focusing in particular on top-grade special steels.
Macron will not go
Emmanuel Macron also showed volunteering in the Ascoval case. In an interview that was assigned to journalists on Sunday Picard's courier, from LThe voice of the north and union, the head of state was optimistic about the "future" of steelworks and wanted to persuade employees. The head of state has promised that "things will be done, simply because those who work there deserve it." The time scheduled for this Wednesday, the presidential visit to the steel plant was finally not planned, learned The Figaro Tuesday night.