The company turns the page on Altifort, which has been placed in official bankruptcy. The Swiss group LK Hydraulics becomes the owner of the site.
On December 15, 2015, the employees of the factory (then called Pentair) learned of the willingness of managers to close shop. There followed a year of mobilization of employees in the streets of Ham, in the heart of the district of La Défense in Paris and even in Amiens to meet the Minister of Economy at the time, when a certain Emmanuel Macron launched the movement En Marche! A year later it was Altifort that obtained the keys to the company, now called Picardie Valves Industries (PVI).
On Friday 13 December 2019, the company changed ownership again, but under much calmer conditions. The commercial court of Paris (in charge of the judicial liquidation of Altifort), has entrusted the Swiss group (led by French people) LK Hydraulics to manage the future of the company in Hampshire: “We can say that the commercial court and the judicial administrator have done a good job, there was a real professional and economic reflection for the company and we needed a quick decision”, rejoices Bertrand Vermander, employee. All of the 106 permanent and 12 fixed-term contracts have been kept. LK Hydraulics is taking over 80% of the shares held by Altifort until now and leaving the last fifth to the employees: “Around thirty employees decided to invest. This shows our involvement in the life of the company, even if this is no longer to be demonstrated since 2015”, adds Bertrand Vermander.
In the portrait of LK Hydraulics drawn up by Johny Poidevin, the director of the site, one is the opposite of Altifort: “It is a group that has existed since 1992 and is already in the business with three companies in industrial valves, three in pumps, two in connectors and two others also in hydraulics. The turnover is 45 million euros for 270 employees. The acquisition of PVI will considerably increase these figures. »
This is a good reason to turn the page: “In 2018, the site lost money for the first time in more than 30 years. Altifort had raised hopes, it was more than disappointed, there were some aberrant decisions long before it tried to take over the Ascoval steelworks. The group experienced unprecedented growth, it could only end like that,” adds Bertrand Vermander, rejoicing at the arrival of professionals from a group that is “growing little by little.”
Visiting Thursday and Friday
A word to the elders: “This is proof that this is a factory that holds its own thanks to the know-how of its employees. I, who worked in this company from 1964 to 2000, have experienced name changes from Cogero, SAPAG to Tyco via Pont-à-Mousson, Alstom and others before, but the factory is still there and we hope that it will continue for a long time to come,” reacts Gérard Delaforge on our Facebook page.
The CEO of LK Hydraulics will be on Ham at the end of the week. He will meet the employees on Friday morning.
Wednesday 18 December 2019, Ham