Tic-tac, tic-tac, tic-tac… Four months after opening a backup procedure in June of last year, the future of Manurhin appears to be ineluctably foreign. The manufacturer of machines for ammunition manufacturing “Made in France”, which exports 100% of its production, and is salivating five advocacy groups, international, according to our information : three european, one american and one asian. On the other hand, no group of habs has not been shown to interested in this small business, based in Mulhouse. In the light of the very difficult situation of Manurhin, the first group, which will draw, will likely win the case. Contacted by The Tribune, its CEO Rémy Thannberger did not wish to comment.
There are still two months approximately to the direction of Manurhin, which employs a total of 220 employees, to find a solution. The group no longer really have the choice : either he pounced into the wall and deposits its balance sheet at the end of the year to the end of the backup procedure, either it is a group to lean against either it just buy it. It is to be feared that the last solution is the most plausible, Manurhin and is not in a position of strength to negotiate its independence. At a time when France is going to recreate a chain of small arms ammunition “Made in France” which has Manurhin, it is paradoxical to see a French SME blow by a foreign group. Worn by the ex-minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian, this project could be the beginnings of a solution “Made in France” for Manurhin.
An order book full to bursting
If Manurhin had not recurring problems of cash flow and financing at the export, the world leader in its sector would be in shape. As the SME is sitting on a internationally recognized brand from Colombia to Oman, passing through France. It has installed more than 13,000 machines in more than 60 countries. In addition, it has an order book that is very well stocked, which amounted to € 93 million at the end of September. It has commercial prospects very provocative. According to our information, it is currently conducting campaigns on a series of orders estimated at 500 million euros approximately. She could snag at least one-third, estimates a close to the folder. Finally, Manurhin is evolving on a global market of ammunition in very strong growth.
“We could immediately sign a 100 million euro of additional commands but how to finance them without being accompanied? These are the questions that arise”, was explained at the end of September Rémy Thannberger at a regional daily newspaper in Alsace.
However, Manurhin has been stopped in his tracks. Facing a dramatic decline of its turnover (€30 million, down 50 % compared to 2015) and significant losses ($12 million) in 2016, the main operating subsidiary of Group Manurhin MR Equipment, which employs 175 people, has been placed at the beginning of June under the regime of the backup by the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Mulhouse.
Why Manurhin did he come to this impasse
The situation of Manurhin is essentially due to the impossibility to which the group is confronted “for months, to get the French banks, whether private or public, the least euro of credit, and this in spite of a historic beneficiary in 2013, 2014 and 2015”, was explained at the beginning of June the group in a press release. Rémy Thannberger had alerted several times to the public authorities.
In April 2016, he regretted in an interview with La Tribune that the French banks were “reluctant to fund our operations, defence export. This is one of my main concerns. In the medium and long term, this will be a real structural problem to develop Manurhin, which is today the world leader in its field”. And what had happened, came to pass last June…
Why do the banks not want to they not accompany Manurhin? Because the SME has a shareholder who scares the bankers, the Slovak band Delta Defence. In October 2015, former delegate general for armaments Laurent Collet-Billon had pointed the finger at the ownership and the recurrent problem of cash Manurhin. “We would like to that the question of his shareholding and his cash are clearly addressed,” he warned. In pure loss…
Delta Defence, the ball Manurhin
However, in February 2016, an agreement between the shareholders was to marginalize Delta Defence (34%) which constitute a control block, in order to stabilize the capital and the governance of the company around its management. In this context, the two public shareholders of Manurhin entered new business lines, the bank Bpifrance and GIAT Industries SA transferring their respective ownership interests of the 22,57 % of the capital of the MNR Group SA, Société Nouvelle d’alsace (SNA), which is controlled by Rémy Thannberger and Robert Nguyen, general manager of MNR Group. The two partners now control 52% of the capital of Manurhin.
This assignment was accompanied by a financing operation organised by the SNA to assist the further development of the company. An operation which would contribute Bpifrance and GIAT Industries through a credit vendor. Thus, the Banque Populaire d’alsace was ready to grant a credit to SMES from mulhouse conditioning, however his intervention, that of Bpifrance. But in the end, this last refuses, due to the lack of evidence bearing on the identity of the ultimate beneficiaries of the Delta Defence. The Company has also taken the same step. Without more success… And the last annual general meeting was turned in July to the dialogue of the deaf between SNA and Delta Defence. A nightmare which will certainly enjoy a foreign investor, all happy to put the hand on an SME, the world leader in its sector.