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Liberty takes over French vehicle converter Durisotti

21 Mar 2019 | Front page, Mobility, Investment

Philippe Baudon, Chairman of Liberty-Durisotti, explains what’s at stake in Durisotti’s takeover by the British group, how this acquisition fits into the Group’s corporate strategy and shares his vision on the French vehicle converter’s future developments.

The British group GFG Alliance takes over the French utility vehicle converter Durisotti

The GFG Alliance, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, is taking over the French company Durisotti through its Liberty House entity. Located in Hauts-de-France since its creation in 1956, Durisotti specializes in converting light-duty vehicles.

Despite a difficult period, the company has continuously sought to enhance revenues, improve margins, develop new product ranges, and win new markets. This attitude has allowed it Durisotti maintain its value and its position as France’s second largest automobile converter. Placed under receivership at the start of the year, Durisotti has welcomed this swift takeover, which promises a bright future, as evidenced by its new Chairman, Philippe Baudon.

“Durisotti has a long history, expertise, and strong relationships with its partners and customers. Despite a difficult period, the company has always been focused on the quality of its products and has maintained a healthy business. We still have much to offer, and the synergies with Liberty provide us with a promising outlook. For its part, Durisotti offers Liberty a top-quality team with solid expertise, professional knowledge in a highly specialized field that complements its existing business.”

A strategic operation for both parties

From Durisotti’s point of view

With this M&A operation, the Liberty Group seeks to “shore up the business’ order books, diversify its product offering and grow its customer base.” Durisotti now boasts three major advantages, as Philippe Baudon explains:

  • Financial support: Thanks to Liberty’s solid business standing, the French vehicle converter will be able to carry out investments that were on hold, thus allowing to enhance operational productivity and efficiency
  • Greater visibility and recognition in France and abroad, thanks to the GFG Alliance Group network
  • Access to new markets and foreign partners, and in particular through collaboration with the group’s British companies having complementary business activities.

From GFG Alliance’s point of view

Within 10 months, GFG Alliance has developed a strong footprint on French market through the acquisition of three high-potential companies, of which two are located in Hauts-de-France region:

  • Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest primary aluminum smelter, located in Dunkerque, Hauts-de-France 
  • Durisotti, France’s second largest automotive manufacturer, specializing in the conversion of light-duty vehicles, with three plants in France, located in Sallaumines (Hauts-de-France, Headquarter and main plant), Metz (Lorraine), and Agen (Lot-et-Garonne)
  • AR Industries (Liberty Wheel France), the last remaining French manufacturer of aluminum wheels, located in Diors (Indre)

This vertical external growth, allows GFG to diversify its product offering in the automotive sector and to enhance its presence in France and Europe, turning Liberty into a major player on the domestic market. “Durisotti will help us bolster and diversify our downstream presence in the automotive sector, joining our other French businesses in our vertically integrated value chain,” says Sanjeev Gupta, the Executive Chairman of Liberty (GFG Alliance)

What does the future have in store for Liberty-Durisotti?

Philippe Baudon is very confident about the future:

"We haven’t yet set a defined growth target at this time, but we want to keep growing the company. We now have the ability to increase our performance and production volume in order to better meet customer demand. Liberty’s business network will allow us to strengthen our position in the market and develop new diversification opportunities that we can go after.

I am also happy that our employees supported this agreement, and I look forward to working with them to help achieve the company’s full potential.”

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