May 24, 2022

Passing on your construction company to its employees, another way

Nearly 70,000 building and public works companies with fewer than 200 employees will be sold within 10 years. About 45,000 could go out of business for lack of a buyer. The stakes are therefore high and no solution should be neglected. Transmission to employees in the form of a SCOP (Cooperative and Participatory Company) is one way. Two companies have recently gone through this process: Pougnand in Celles-sur-Belle (Deux-Sèvres) and Labbé TP in Confolens (Charente).

Their leaders were kind enough to explain their background to us.

For Pierre Fondard, Secretary General of the Regional Federation of Construction SCOPs, the stakes are high in a region that is already well placed in terms of the number of SCOPs. ” Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the second in France with 80 construction SCOPs for nearly 2,000 employees. We have a long cooperative experience in this sector and the potential, in the field of transmission, is significant, especially in rural areas.

Our role is to inform the actors of the BTP of this possibility, then to accompany the sellers, the buyers with the Regional Union of SCOP.

The good news is that the construction sector is experiencing sustained activity, but on the other hand, it is suffering from fluctuations in the cost of materials and raw materials and a lack of manpower. Businesses are often equipped with heavy, expensive equipment and large storage areas. The investment for the buyers is therefore not negligible, but financing tools exist and our support, within the network, is experienced in this kind of challenge.

A trio at the helm of SCOP Pougnad

Pougnad is a carpentry company, created in 1969 in Celles-sur-Belle (Deux-Sèvres) by Michel Pougnad. In 2004, he retired and sold the company to Henry Sicard and Claude Gautronneau.

2017, new level with the retirement of Henry Sicard.

Three young employees, from the work-study programme: Delphine Torres, Florent Cornuault and Clément Gautronneau (pictured above), bought the 30% share of the young retiree. On December 11, 2020, the company becomes a SCOP, 6 months before the retirement of Claude Gautronneau. The trio, already experienced in managing the company, in particular thanks to training at the Higher School of Young Building Managers (ESJDB), now makes up the Management Board, chaired by Delphine Torres. ” It took us 1 year of work to achieve the transformation into a SCOP with the adhesion of the 27 employees to the SCOP project. explains Florent Cornuault who had the idea of ​​the SCOP thanks to an internship in Brittany during his ESJDB training. To make up their capital, fixed for each at 3 months’ gross salary, and to enable the takeover of the company, the employees were able to use a company savings plan, open for several years and funded thanks to a profit-sharing agreement with results. The Regional Union of SCOPs also came to support the project as well as the New Aquitaine Region.

The Pougnand company manufactures and installs joinery and carpentry for individuals and property developers in the territory of Poitou and Charentes.

« The transformation into SCOP was smooth recalls Delphine Torres. ” We all wanted the company to continue operating without disruption. All three of us were already in charge and all the employees were well aware that only the SCOP could allow us to remain independent of large groups. »

Labbé TP became a SCOP in June 2021. “Take time to do things right”

It is in Confolens in Charente that Labbé TP is located, a public works company and individuals specializing in road works and sanitation. In 2011, the neighboring SCOP STPR, specialized in agricultural work and earthworks, acquired it. It will have taken 10 years to rebuild the cash flow and prepare the employees who have gone from 13 to 30 today to become cooperators and take over the reins of their business.

Labbé TP became a SCOP in June 2021.

In charge since 2011: Pierre Barrier, salaried manager of SCOP STPR. ” I joined the SCOP STPR, based in Pleuville in 2004. I became its manager in 2008. It was a real opportunity in 2011 to take over Labbé TP. The activities of the two companies are complementary, they operate in a similar geographical area: north Charente, south Vienne, west Haute-Vienne. A holding company was therefore created with STPR to carry out this takeover and I took part in it personally. In our businesses, SMEs tend to be taken over by large groups looking for new locations. It seemed important to us to maintain the independence of the company.

Following the STPR model, I worked with the team and the Regional Union of SCOPs on the transformation of Labbé TP into SCOP SA. Last June, all of the company’s employees became partners. They each brought a capital of 3 months of gross salary thanks, in particular, to a company savings plan. Everyone, in the two entities, understood the collective interest that emerges from this operation. Today, we plan to develop the model with the purchase of a third entity in difficulty based in the south of Vienne.

Plus :

Report to be found in the magazine n°57 of the winter.

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