It has existed for a hundred years but this longevity is no longer a sign of good health. Despite a long industrial competence, and its dual mastery of glass and optics, the Holophane glassworks, whose head office and factory are located in Andelys, in the Eure, is experiencing an unprecedented crisis. The manufacturer of pressed glass parts intended mainly for automotive suppliers has until the end of February to find a buyer.
In suspension of payments since October, the company put up for sale by its owner, the investment fund, AIAC (American Industrial Acquisition Corporation), is currently in a period of observation, following a reassessment by the commercial court of Evreux.
Its critical situation is the result of a switch from automotive lighting to plastic, to promote vehicle lightening. But also due to soaring energy prices.
Already stopped in October before resuming, the production of Holophane is about to be stopped again, confides Alain Lecompte, Director of Human Resources of the company: “Faced with increases in energy, we have to stop our oven as soon as possible. We have asked our customers to anticipate this shutdown by building up safety stocks and we have concentrated our production. »
Several buyers have come forward
The company employs nearly 240 people at its Andelys site and 95 others in China, who could lose their jobs. With the imminent shutdown of production, the long-term partial activity system will be put in place. But for how long ? “We make glass but we don’t have a crystal ball! Production could probably be stopped for several quarters,” continues Alain Lecompte.
Several possible buyers have made themselves known, “from the trade”, according to management. The deadline for submitting bids is February 28. Without an offer or without court validation, the company will be liquidated. “From the various contacts made via buyers or exhibitions, we understood that there is a lack of glass in the world but that we do not shape it to meet the needs”, explains Fabien Carpentier, director of operations. “So if tomorrow there is a recovery, it will necessarily involve a transformation of our manufacturing process”.