It is the beginning of a new era for Euroapi’s 3,342 employees. Sanofi’s subsidiary, which specializes in the production of active ingredients – those substances that give medicines their therapeutic properties – is preparing to leave the bosom of the parent company to stand on its own two feet. Friday, May 6, it will do its IPO on Euronext, in Paris.
The announcement of the operation had triggered strikes in the French production sites of Vertolaye (Puy-de-Dôme) and Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf (Seine-Maritime) in 2021 and early 2022. Workers worried about their future away from the industrial giant. It was nevertheless approved by Sanofi’s shareholders, at a general meeting held in the capital on Tuesday, May 3. The two French factories, with 1,175 employees, are among the six production sites for active ingredients selected by the group in 2021 to form the new Euroapi company, in addition to those in Frankfurt, Germany, Ujpest, Hungary, Brindisi, Italy and Haverhill. UK.
However, the future ex-branch of the French flagship of the pharmaceutical industry will partly retain the support of the tricolor laboratory. Indeed, Sanofi has committed to keep approximately 30% of Euroapi’s capital after the IPO for a period of at least two years while the new company gets off the ground. Big Pharma, currently Euroapi’s main customer (accounting for 45.6% of sales in 2021), also signed a five-year contract with the latter for the production and supply of active ingredients. Commitment of additional guarantee: the state, through the French Tech Sovereignty fund, managed by the public bank Bpifrance, will increase the capital of the company to 12%.
“A purely accounting operation”
A protective cocoon that should offer Euroapi some security in the short term, but which, despite everything, fails to calm the fears of all employees. “We are going to put public money into a private company that we are not sure will remain French, or at least in the hands of French shareholders. We are not immune to the fact that in four or five years’ time the company will fall under the thumb of foreign shareholders or pension funds who will tell us that it costs too much to produce in France or in Europe, and who want to move to Asia, despite the beautiful words about moving and health independence †is alarmed Jean-Louis Peyren, CGT coordinator of the Sanofi group.
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