Baccarat’s operational director since its placement under provisional administration in the autumn, Hervé Martin has been appointed managing director by the new board of directors. The exit from the provisional administration procedure was therefore recorded on Thursday and formalises the objectives set by Hervé Martin: investment in production equipment, IT and distribution channels, including sales in China.
Hervé Martin, the group’s operational director since October, previously held the position of managing director from 2007 to 2011.
As a reminder, Baccarat SA was bought by Fortune Legend limited in 2017, a Chinese company, via its subsidiary Fortune fountain capital. Since then, the promised investments have not been made. Last year, the company did not honour its debts to the funds that had enabled it to acquire the factory.
In September, Baccarat SA was placed under provisional administration by the Nancy Commercial Court. Three months later, it became the property of a consortium of four international funds.
“A reflection on the industrial transformation of the site with major investments to be made and implemented, the upgrading of the IT system and the further analysis of the performance of the distribution channels in order to make our distribution efficient and profitable,” explained Hervé Martin on the new challenges to be taken up in order to turn around the brand. “The aim is to embark on an investment-based development process to grow the turnover and customer base, to be better equipped and more present while continuing to push the online sales that have exploded over the last 18 months. “
For the new general manager, Baccarat must also develop in Asia: “An area, apart from Japan, where we are lagging behind in order to sell better to Chinese customers: for the entire luxury world, they are becoming the number one customer. ”
“Several tens of millions of euros will be invested in the industrial tool as of this year, but especially in 2022 and 2023: the renovation of the large ovens will be accompanied by investments in the entire production chain to bring back modernity and quality. We will also be investing in the entire production line to bring back modernity and quality.” in order to “Make the factory evolve into a site equipped for the next ten years. “
Hervé Martin is optimistic for the future because the first quarter of 2021 is “on the same lines as 2020” and with a “good concern, that of managing to produce”.
According to documents sent to AFP, the staff representatives have more reservations. They fear the “big investments to come” with the need to redo “the big furnaces” in 2022 and 2023 where the crystal is produced. An estimate is underway but it will cost “several tens of millions of euros”, according to Hervé Martin. according to Hervé Martin.
“The investors have said and even written that they are ready to assume the investments necessary for development”, he assured “Our ambition is to build. If we do things well, we are capable of going far. We are currently running at around 150 million euros in turnover. For me, the first interesting level is around 200 million”, he added.
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