It’s the beginning of a new era for Euroapi’s 3,342 employees. The subsidiary of Sanofi, which specializes in the manufacture of active ingredients – those substances which give drugs their therapeutic properties – is preparing to leave the bosom of its parent company to stand on its own two feet. Friday, May 6, it will make its IPO on Euronext, in Paris.
The announcement of the operation had given rise, in 2021 and at the beginning of 2022, to strikes at the French production sites of Vertolaye (Puy-de-Dôme) and Saint-Aubin-lès- Elbeuf (Seine-Maritime). Employees worried about their future away from the industrial giant. It was nevertheless approved by the shareholders of Sanofi, during a general meeting, which was held on Tuesday, May 3, in the capital. The two French factories, which have 1,175 employees, are among the six active ingredient manufacturing sites selected by the group in 2021 to form the new Euroapi company, alongside those in Frankfurt, Germany, Ujpest, Hungary, Brindisi, Italy and Haverhill, UK.
The future ex-branch of the French flagship of the pharmaceutical industry will however keep, in part, the support of the tricolor laboratory. Sanofi has in fact undertaken to retain, after the IPO, approximately 30% of the capital of Euroapi for a period of at least two years, while the new company takes off. Big Pharma, which is currently Euroapi’s main customer (it accounted for 45.6% of its turnover in 2021), also signed a contract for the manufacture and supply of active ingredients with the latter, for a period of five years. Pledge of additional guarantee: the State, through the French Tech Sovereignty fund, managed by the public bank Bpifrance, will increase the capital of the company, up to 12%.
“A purely accounting operation”
A protective cocoon which should provide Euroapi with some security in the short term, but which does not manage, despite everything, to calm the fears of all employees. “We are going to put public money in a private company for which we have no assurance that it 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, the company will come 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 will want relocate to Asia, despite the fine words about relocation and health independence »is alarmed Jean-Louis Peyren, CGT coordinator of the Sanofi group.
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