The takeover by ARCOLE INDUSRIES was supported by nearly 80% of the employees
The LAMBERET group specializes in manufacturing refrigerated vehicles (semi-trailers, carriers and light vehicles). The group filed for bankrupcy following the mid-2008 crisis, when the group’s sales collapsed from € 200 million to less than € 75 million.
In April 2009, all the groups' activities in Europe, including the production sites of Saint-Cyr-sur-Menthon and Sarreguemines, as well as the German, Italian and Spanish subsidiaries, were taken over at the commercial Court of Bourg-en-Bresse by ARCOLE INDUSTRIES, with CARAVELLE as co-investor.
Supported by nearly 80% of the employees, ARCOLE INDUSTRIES’s offer allowed to save 775 jobs out of the 1,100 of the group.
Full turnaround and recapitalisation
The turnaround was led by André Lebrun, President, and Erick Méjean, Chief Executive Officer. It included resizing the workforce, making the products more reliable, segmenting the offering in a new manner, leading an original communication campaign that was a great success, simplifying the hierarchical structures, as well as, on the industrial front, optimizing the production processes. This made it possible for Lamberet to become an agile player on its market again, which was a key to success. The restructuring of the foreign subsidiaries, which were suffering from very serious losses, also took place in parallel.
With ARCOLE INDUSTRIES and CARAVELLE as co-investors, LAMBERET benefited from a € 12 million capital increase, and an additional € 9 million current account.
Positive operating margin in less than a year
These measures quickly helped LAMBERET to regain the trust of its different partners (suppliers, distributors, customers). In less than a year, the company was profit making again, which enabled it to start growing again and develop new products.
United around a real business project, the teams have written in a few years among the most beautiful pages in the history of the company. The company has thus strongly grown from 2010 and has gained numerous awards and honours.
Awards and honours for the LAMBERET group
LAMBERET received the TRAILER AWARD at the Courtrai show in 2010, the INNOVATION AWARD at the Solutrans show in Lyon in 2011, and the TRAILER INNOVATION AWARD at the IAA exhibition held in Hanover in 2012. This was the first time a French manufacturer received the prestigious TRAILER INNOVATION AWARD for one of its vehicles.
Erick Méjean, Managing Director of LAMBERET, was awarded the 2012 prize “MANAGER of the YEAR” of the Region Rhone-Alpes during the ceremony of the BFM Awards in Lyon.
LAMBERET's 2014 consolidated revenue amounted to €140 million, compared to €70 million in 2009, of which more than 50% was generated by exports.
In early 2015, LAMBERET was sold to an industrial player, in order to make it possible for LAMBERET to accelerate its development on an international level.
The takeover by ARCOLE INDUSTRIES saved 622 jobs out of 836
The GIRARD-AGEDISS Group is a logistician specialized in the transport of furniture and bulky goods to B-to-B and B-to-C clients. The group had to file for bankrupcy in 2010, following the bankruptcy of CAMIF, one of its first customers. The bankruptcy was also due to a new transport plan, which had generated many quality problems, causing many clients to leave.
In June 2010, all the group's activities were taken over by ARCOLE INDUSTRIES at the Commercial Court of La Roche sur Yon, enabling 622 out of the group's 836 jobs to be saved.
Trust in the future following the significant capitalization of the group
In order to provide it with sufficient financial resources and to regain the trust of its various partners (suppliers, customers), ARCOLE INDUSTRIES and FCDE have subscribed to a € 11 million capital increase.
Social, organizational and cost reduction components
After this financial measure, the turnaround of the company consisted in:
- social measures (resizing of the workforce to put it in line with the level of activity);
- Organizational measures (implementation of a pragmatic transport plan);
- Cost reduction measures.
Back to profitability within 15 months
These four sets of measures enabled GIRARD-AGEDISS to generate positive results within 15 months and start growing again, by acquiring new customers and expanding its range of services.
In 2012, the GIRARD-AGEDISS group reached € 45 million turnover, and was generating benefits.
In 2013, GIRARD-AGEDISS took over the activities of SLS and strengthened its position in the delivery of furniture and bulky goods to B-to-C clients.
French leader on its market
In 2015, with an annual turnover of nearly € 70 million, GIRARD-AGEDISS became the French leader in the delivery of bulky goods and furniture to the professional, the individual and the websurfer.
In 2016, GIRARD-AGEDISS was sold to the 3SI group (Mondial Relay, Dispeo, Mezzo), enabling it to enrich the range of services offered by the 3SI Group to e-retailers in France.
PHENIX was bought by ARCOLE INDUSTRIES from a major cleaning company, based in the West of France. PHENIX was not considered as a core business for this group and had for many years suffered from underinvestment and an absence of strategy for its development. As a consequence, it had lost market share, and missed market opportunities crucial for its survival.
It should also be noted that PHENIX was totally depending on the group to which it belonged for all its support functions, including finance, IT, insurance, real estate, etc.
New support functions
One of the main challenges was therefore to build new support functions to make PHENIX independent from the group to which it belonged, and this at a far lower cost than its previous support functions within the group. This required: i) the recruitment and training of new support function teams) ii) tough rental negotiations for the new premises, iii) the setting up of a totally new IT system adapted to the needs of this medium sized company (versus the former IT system that was suitable for a big group). At the same time, all main contracts were renegotiated (insurance, car fleet, phones, IT contracts, leases, etc.)
Focus on middle management
Being efficient in running a service business particularly relies on having performing and dedicated middle management. Hence, an executive committee was set up, to have service and area managers more implied in the success of the business. A third of the middle management had to be renewed, to give the company a new start. In addition, a large technical training program was implemented to improve competences of the commercial staff and the operators (in particular concerning the industrial activity, reconstruction, and asbestos).
Development of new activities
On a niche-market, it is crucial to find new sources of growth. Hence, several new activities have been developed: i) “emergency response after industrial disaster”, ii) rescuing records solutions, iii) reconstruction and iv) asbestos decontamination.
Those activities currently represent over 20% of PHENIX’s turnover.
Thanks to a highly dedicated and motivated team, PHENIX is today profitable and fast-growing, with very promising development perspective ahead.