Group Doux, Europe's leading poultry firm, is for sale. Family shareholders of the group have committed the process of selling their 80% stake in the company, reports Le Journal du Dimanche. Doux however, denies the statements.
With a turnover of €1.4 billion and €100 million of margin buying the company valued at €500 million seems like a reasonable purchase.
But then, the group Doux awash in €400 million of debt and its turnover in 2010 has shrunk by 23.5%. In November, the group, which markets products including the brand Père Dodu, gave up borrowing on financial markets, citing difficult conditions.
The group had also suffered from problems of succession, the chairman, Charles Doux, who "never managed to hand over the reins to his son Jean-Charles, 48, (...) nor his nephew Emmanuel" says the weekly.
Doux denies sale
In a press statement Doux, however, denies the accusations: "The Doux Group works with long-standing financial and banking advisors to assist in restructuring its debt and its strategic choices. It is well known, has been said many times and there is nothing new about it. The article in the Journal du Dimanche is riddled with errors and inaccuracies and plays on amalgams simplistic to make false slanderous announcements. "
Present in France and Brazil, Doux is the leading European producer of poultry and number five worldwide exporter.
The Group's main brands are Père Dodu, Doux, Frangosul, Lebon, AlSabia, Coeur de Bretagne and Malvoisine for poultry farming and Label Rouge. The Group has twenty production sites in France and Brazil, bringing together over 9800 employees.
The group has eight sites in France and 3,000 employees for its fresh produce; 60% of its farms are located in Brittany.
In ten years time, poultry production in France fell by 20% while global production increased by over 30%. France became a net importer of poultry in comparison with its European partners.
Four bidders are currently in the running according to investment bank Lazard, which is dealing with the assignment.