In difficulty since the energy crisis of 2022, the French glassmaker Duralex “has requested the opening of a judicial recovery procedure for its benefit with the Orléans commercial court”, announced the operating company New Duralex International (NDI). of the famous brand, Tuesday April 16.

“The objective is to look for a buyer for NDI, thus aiming to find the best solution for the company”, which employs 230 people in its historic factory in Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin (Loiret), the company says. Before adding that “an administrator and a legal representative should be appointed by the court to assist the company during the observation period which should open”.

Duralex had suffered the full brunt of the surge in gas prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and had been temporarily saved by a state loan of 15 million euros, which had made it possible to reopen its glass furnace and restart its production after five months of closure.

“New difficulties emerged” last year

However, during the 2023 financial year, “new difficulties emerged”, attributable to inflation, a “strongly declining” consumer environment and “exacerbated competition”, specifies the company, adding that, “ despite operational efforts and continued investments, losses could not be stemmed.”

At the same time, NDI says it “was confronted with a decision from the administrative court of Orléans concerning the rights to pollute of the former owner of Duralex”, considering that it was “debtful for the quotas owed by the former operator”. This judgment “rendered in mid-March”, against which the company announced its intention to appeal, “seriously compromises the financial health of NDI and its ability to maintain its activities in a sustainable manner”, states the press release.

“It’s always a little sad,” regretted to Agence France-Presse (AFP) the CGT elected official, François Dufranne, who assures that the employees “did not expect it.” “There are three weeks, a month, we were given a presentation telling us the objectives, the products we were going to develop, etc. Quite a speech and, a month later, we held an extraordinary CSE meeting to tell us that we are going to put the company into receivership”, laments the trade unionist again, before adding: “Now, we are going to cross the fingers so that there is a buyer. »

In Bercy, the Minister of Industry, Roland Lescure, who had come for the reopening of the ovens, declared that the State would “do everything possible to try to bring about recovery solutions”. “We are counting on local stakeholders to mobilize alongside us in this research,” he responded to AFP in a brief press release.

Duralex, founded in 1945, invented tempered glass and glasses used in school canteens as well as trendy restaurants. The company achieved an annual turnover of €29.4 million in 2022. Pyrex, a separate entity from Duralex operated jointly within the French Glass House, is “continuing its activities as usual”, is -he specified in the press release.