The French abattoir, Abattoirs industriels de la Manche (AIM), will this week file for temporary protection against its creditors. That should give it more time to discuss a possible takeover with potential candidates.
Although, no candidates have been named yet, rumours suggest that the French cooked meat companies Loste and Brient might be interested.
AIM has been in financial difficulties since 2012 because of the deterioration in the French pig sector. In a statement, the management also blamed the Russian embargo on European pork and the competition from Germany and Spain which AIM described as social dumping. In 2013, the company produced 81,000 tonnes of meat of which some 80% was pork. The turnover in that year came to 247 million euros.
AIM employs over 600 people of which almost 400 are at its main location in Sainte-Cécile near Caen, Normandy, and another 180 in Antrain in Brittany. According to the unions, the employees only received €800 each of their December salary and annual bonus. The regional authorities of Manche have decided to help them with a gift of 500 euro each. Unions fear many of the employees will lose their jobs whether a takeover occurs or not. They compare the situation with that at pork abattoir GAD where just over 500 of the original 1,700 jobs have been saved after the company was taken over by supermarket chain Intermarché.