towards a return to the bar of the commercial court

Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP

The manufacturer’s owner, MA Steel, plans to file for bankruptcy at the end of October due to lack of a buyer.

Time is running out for Valdunes, the last French manufacturer of train wheels and axles, in difficulty. Its owner, the Chinese MA Steel, has just set a deadline for the seven potential buyers to submit a firm offer: October 15. Failing that, MA Steel plans to file for bankruptcy at the end of October. “This scenario is very likely, we explain to the cabinet Roland LescureMinister Delegate for Industry. Subject to Valdunes cash level, which is already under tension, we should switch to a legal recovery procedure. The objective is to find a buyer, with a solid industrial project, by the end of the year.”

The deadline set by MA Steel for a recovery in bonus is too tight. The preparatory work for the sale of Valdunes has not been completed. Mandated by the Ministry of Industry, the Grant Thornton firm must build an industrial project and quantify the investments necessary to the relaunch of Valdunes ; PwC must map the company’s potential markets.

Roland Lescure has multiplied the meetings, meeting Sophie Binet again, general secretary of the CGT. The minister wants to involve all stakeholders in order to facilitate a return to court. He plans to bring together, before the end of the month, representatives of Valdunes staff, the CGT, Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region, SNCF and Alstom. Objective? “See in particular how the two companies can get involved, we estimate in the minister’s office. At a minimum, Alstom and SNCF can act as current customers of Valdunes.” In short: place more orders. Alstom, of which the State holds 7.5%, only represents 10% of Valdunes’ activity.

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