Wishing to quickly sell its subsidiary specializing in collection hardware and software, SYMAG (a legacy of Laser-Cofinoga), BNP was challenged by a judge from the Grasse TGI on March 10.
The judgment has the effect of postponing the planned sale and above all, it will make it possible to know the reality of the financial health and the project of the transferee, a company well known in omnichannel collection, condemned on several occasions by different jurisdictions. The reasons for the judgment are explicit: provide the Social and Economic Committee of the company Symag, the business plan (…) the turnover, operating results, debt, number of sites and employees of X (the transferee), the contractual sanctions provided for in the event of breach of the commitment not to carry out redundancies within 18 months (…) precise information on the representative bodies within X. (…) orders the extension of the period for consultation of the CSE of Symag by two months.
Give up Symag and quickly, why?
Symag, which was one of the European leaders in its field, apparently and according to various sources or employees still in post, suffered from poor management and unsuitable strategic choices in terms of development: it would be at a loss and considered less priority by BNP Personal Finance, the entity to which it is attached. Which would explain, as we mentioned in a previous article, this disposal project. And why the BNP would be willing to write a check to the assignee to sell it. The “disorders” would be such that at one of its major customers, a breakdown would have caused the loss of collection data corresponding to half a day’s billing. Collection and everything related to it – loyalty programs, statistics or customer knowledge that result from it – are at the heart of customer engagement programs and the battlefield has therefore become very competitive; it sometimes encourages over-promise, as, for example, what happened to many Tiller customers (see our article on this subject), now ceded to SumUp. The company communicated intensively on the quality of its products and services, but many customers declared themselves very dissatisfied.
An assignment associated with a dowry and why not a rebirth?
The teasing minds will find that it is sometimes easier, with your banker, to receive a check to take care of a patient than to obtain a mortgage. Once transferred to a third party, the patient then goes to the intensive care unit, does not “die” before your eyes or not… in your hospital. But sometimes, and that’s a good thing, cared for by diligent people, with the right molecules, it’s rebirth. The CSE in this story indicates that it is not shocked by a transfer project but by the expeditious method, which it considers not very rigorous. Has anyone bothered to look for or identify other assignees, what about another offer received, apparently serious and which Symag’s management has not even studied? Why this assignee precisely, who seems to worry?
A judge from Alpes Maritimes stuck to the law, temporarily prevented the defeasance operation planned by BNP-PF and thus gave Symag employees the opportunity to control their destiny a little. After all, La Redoute, which was taken over by a duo of entrepreneurs, is now in great shape and e-merchants know how to come back from the devil, such as Showroomprivé, which has also recently returned to profitability. The leaders of Symag and its parent company, BNP-PF will have to come out of the woodwork. They did not wish to comment on this judgment at this stage.
By Manuel Jacquinet
NB: Photo of one provided by Pierre-Alexandre Métral – © DR.
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