Shaken by repeated restructuring, Amiens escaped a new industrial disaster: the Ajinomoto plant was to be taken over by the young Auvergne company Metabolic Explorer (MetEx), an operation made possible by the very favorable financial conditions granted by the Japanese group.
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The Picard site employs some 330 employees in the manufacture of lysine - a substance used in animal feed - and other high added value amino acids, we learned from MetEx on Friday.
Ajinomoto, like MetEx, specializes in the production of chemical components by fermentation, a “
could replace petrochemicals for certain products.
As such, MetEx has been the subject since its inception of unwavering support from the State and its financial arm bpiFrance.
A small start-up with a workforce of just 120 people, MetEx will be able to acquire this site for a "
" price if the exclusive negotiations entered into with Ajinomoto are successful: 15 million euros, including 8 million payable at the time of the finalization of the operation, hoped for no later than May.
Defense of employment
The modesty of the invoice is explained by the significant depreciation of assets of 100 million euros that Ajinomoto agreed to spend in its accounts before the sale of its subsidiary.
This in the name of the defense of employment.
We have chosen to enter into exclusive negotiations with Metabolic Explorer
" because its file is "
to date the most relevant for the future of the Amiens industrial site
" and "
for the sustainability of jobs
", indicates Masami Kashiwakura , president of Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Group, quoted in a statement.
Ajinomoto, MetEx founder Benjamin Gonzalez told the press, has made the choice for several years to withdraw from animal nutrition, a strategy that has resulted in the closure of factories in Thailand and Brazil and the overhaul of his American unit.
As the Amiens site does not have research and development facilities, Ajinomoto also wanted a buyer capable of providing it with the necessary technologies to maintain itself over time.
A possible closure of this “
efficient and highly automated
” site would have had a serious impact in the Picardy capital, already shaken by the closures of the Goodyear tire factories (in 2014) and of Whirlpool household appliances (in 2019).
At 130 km, the closure of the Bethune plant of Bridgestone (tires), another Japanese group, had a strong impact last year.