The French group Arc International, world leader in tableware, has reached a new agreement with its shareholders and the public authorities to maintain its activity. The company continues to encounter difficulties.
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Based in Arques, near Saint-Omer in the Pas-de-Calais department, Arc International employs some 7,500 people, including 4,500 in France. The glassmaker known through various brands such as Luminarc, Arcopal, Chef & Sommelier or quite simply Cristal d’Arques, is experiencing recurring logistics and software problems, and the crisis is not helping.
Arc International is one of those companies for which the increase in the price of raw materials is a major handicap. Add to that the inflation which slows down household consumption of this kind of non-priority products. The state has already rushed to the rescue of society on three occasions. It is also carried at arm’s length by the shareholders. The Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who announces new state aid, calls on everyone to their responsibilities, management and shareholders.
Arc International needed 20 million euros to ensure its cash flow over the next few months, it will receive a total of 45. In addition to the contribution of public funds close to 20 million euros (State, Hauts-de-France region and agglomeration community of Saint-Omer), the group must also receive some 16 million in equity from its owner since 2015, the American investment fund PHP. The rest will come from a private investor whose identity has not been revealed.
This new plan has yet to receive the approval of the Lille Commercial Court, which should not pose a problem. The company has a new governance, it is up to it to prove itself. But the situation is such that the application of the new plan must be monitored by an outside consulting firm.