Following several years of decline and a failed acquisition negotiation with PSB Industries earlier this year, Groupe Pochet’s loss-making metal and plastics packaging subsidiary Qualipac is laying off more than 130 employees in France. The reorganization of its production footprint will result in the closure of a factory in Aurillac.
Qualipac set out an industrial reorganization plan that could see up to 134 jobs cut in the country in a proposal submitted to employee representatives on November 16th. With five industrial sites in France (Aurillac, Saint Saturnin du Limet, Chartres, Château Thierry), Qualipac will shutter one of its two production facilities in Aurillac, resulting in 40 job losses. In Chartres, up to 85 could be laid off as a result of refocusing production on assembly, while the site’s injection and metallization activity will be relocated to Château Thierry. Reorganizing its supply chain could see nine additional job losses.
Qualipac has been facing numerous difficulties over the last several years due in part to increased competition and its strong reliance on the sluggish European fragrance market. Its profitability has been declining rapidly since 2018, and the company has been loss-making since the end of 2019. In February of this year, Groupe Pochet had announced that it was in talks to sell the division to PSB Industries, owner of Texen. Late April, the deal fell through.
“This is a difficult, but necessary move to ensure Qualipac’s longevity,” commented Qualipac Managing Director Thierry Rabu.
Internationally, the company is looking to develop commercial partnerships in China and Brazil. Creating a central customer service department in France is expected to result in 10 job creations.
Qualipac reported sales of €239m in 2019.