The textile group Schmitt, in receivership, will be partially taken over by a cooperative of employees. It will start with 52 employees out of the 140 that counted the various companies of the group, said this Thursday the cooperative and the judicial court of Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin).
The proposed sale to a production cooperative company (Scop) for the Velcorex velvet fabric company in Saint-Amarin (Haut-Rhin) has been validated by the commercial chamber of the Mulhouse judicial court. This company has 52 employees out of the 85 of this subsidiary, said Marie-Madeleine Maucourt, director of the Regional Union of Scop Grand Est, which accompanies the assembly of the file. "The staff involved represents the core activity of Velcorex," she said, adding that the project aims "to reach about 70 employees in 2024". The recovery is expected to become effective in the second half of October, she added.
A lack of liquidity to grow
The hearing at the judicial court, which was held on Wednesday, resulted in the liquidation of the two other companies of the Schmitt group, Philéa, in Soultz (Haut-Rhin), and Emmanuel Lang, in Hirsingue (Haut-Rhin).
In total, the group currently employs 140 people. It was set up in 1998 by Pierre Schmitt, a former executive of the Mulhouse company DMC (Dollfus-Mieg & Compagnie) with the aim of setting up a local production sector (spinning, weaving, etc.) for clothing. Its founder had been engaged for several years in the transformation of natural materials such as linen. But in recent months, it has failed to raise funding for its developments, which has worsened the group's financial situation until it goes into receivership in June.
The only offer for a global takeover, which came from the Franco-Swiss fund Big Invest, was withdrawn before the last hearing, as it could not provide proof of its financing. For Scop's project to save Velcorex, a world-renowned velvet company, "the necessary amounts, about 7 million euros, are gathered," said Marie-Madeleine Maucourt.