Jun 4, 2016
DMC to fly the British flag
Jun 4, 2016
The DMC company, a jewel in the French textile industry's crown, will be acquired at the end of July by British investment fund BlueGem. The announcement was made on Friday by DMC's management, from its headquarters in Mulhouse, eastern France.
DMC's current President, Dominique Poile, has announced to the AFP agency that the shareholders are planning to complete the sale of the company's entire assets to BlueGem Capital Partners by the end of July. The news came at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the company's workers council, attended by the future owner, which marked the beginning of the formal information/consultation process of the employees' representatives.
The value of the sale was not revealed.
DMC (Dollfus-Mieg & Co.) is the manufacturer of a renowned embroidery thread. Since 2008, it is jointly owned by French group Krieg, with a 39.8% share of the stock, by several pools of investors from the Alsace region and by its three top managers. The company was founded in 1746 and employs a staff of 300, 207 of whom work at its headquarters and factory in Mulhouse. Last year DMC's revenue was €57 million.
BlueGem is based in London and manages €550 million worth of majority and minority shareholdings in medium-sized enterprises (with revenue between €50 and €200 million), including leading brands well-known by consumers and specialist distribution networks, according to the press release issued by DMC on Friday.
DMC is the investment fund's first industrial acquisition in France. Mathieu Develay, BlueGem's representative in France, has stated to AFP that the purchase will be considered by BlueGem as a "continuity transaction". Mathieu Develay specified that BlueGem pledges to safeguard existing jobs "with the subsequent aim to make them grow", and that Dominique Poile will remain in charge.
The fund usually maintains ownership of companies "from four to six years," he concluded.
The priority will be to "spark innovation" in embroidery "thanks to its leader DMC", within a context of "worldwide growth" of the creative leisure activities sector in general, DMC's French manager has continued. DMC's press release underlined how the company will rely on its technical expertise to modernise its range, introducing more cutting-edge products and extending the accessories' selection, as well as rejuvenating its image, increasing online sales and promoting the brand on social media.
The management stated that DMC's employee representatives have not made any comment and have commissioned an independent audit.
"Such as it has been presented, the project looks positive, with written undertakings about jobs and social benefits. But the buyer is after all an investment fund: will it obtain from DMC the double-digit profitability it seeks?" wondered Claude Gottardi, joint secretary general of the CFTC trade union for the Haut-Rhin region, where Mulhouse is located.
Dominique Poile was asked by AFP about the company's results, but he did not disclose any details, simply stating they were "very good".
"Ever since BlueGem's creation in 2007, all our investments have been designed to make companies grow," said Mathieu Devalay, mentioning as examples Liberty (the London department store and flowery fabrics printer), Enotria (wine and liquor retailer) or the childcare goods chain Mamas & Papas.
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