The builder of Phénix houses has been placed in forced liquidation

“Phoenix, so everyone has their home. » This advertising slogan, which characterized the 1970s, made the Geoxia group, builders of the famous Phénix houses, a symbol of mass access to single-family homes. His model fizzled out. The Commercial Court of Nanterre placed fourteen of the group’s seventeen companies in forced liquidation on Tuesday 28 June due to the lack of buyer offers for its activity.

“I believed in it until the last minute, it’s a bit like the ground was collapsing under my feet”, responded Lucy Grolleau, secretary of the company’s Social and Economic Committee (CSE). liquidation “effective immediately”she added “I have asked all employees to leave their jobs”. Geoxia, which had a turnover of 252 million euros in 2021, employed almost 1,150 people.

“A new hearing is scheduled for July 5th to examine the continuation of the activity of the Geoxia factories for three months to manufacture the parts useful for the ongoing projects.”, the group detailed in a press release. The AGS (the wage guarantee system) “Seized the file so that Geoxia employees could quickly get what is due to them”adds the group.

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The major layoff plan, targeting companies with more than 200 employees, has been activated, Bercy explained. “To help employees find a job in a sector that is known to have high labor needs”.

Lacking access to bank financing, after initial difficulties, Geoxia’s management knocked on the door of the Ministry of Economy in the late 2000s and demanded 70 million euros. She had spoken out against an end to inadmissibility.

“The state cannot finance past and future losses on its own, without shareholders. He can support a buyer, but not replace a shareholderdecided Bercy. Indeed, the lack of a buyer is a sign of the company’s structural difficulties. »

Worry about ongoing construction sites

However, the work in progress needs to be completed. “Phoenix needs to finish 300 houses”, which corresponds to three months of work, assured Fernando Cabete Neves, CFTC union representative. The company’s three factories, which themselves manufactured the panels and frames for their houses, received a reprieve: the state decided to finance their continued activity to carry out the ongoing construction works, according to the Economy Ministry of Agence France-Pressure.

For open locations, insurers will take care of recruiting workers and paying for late penalties and additional costs, according to Bercy. “They are the ones who will be contacting policyholders in the coming days to update them on the next steps to complete their work.”continues the service.

Weakened economic model

Founded in 1946, Maisons Phénix has developed in France thanks to a standardized model of an individual house that can be built quickly and cheaply. The group made their frames in their own factories, metal frames, and then shipped them to sites pre-assembled. He had experienced the first difficulties in the late 2000s, which blocked his access to bank financing.

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The rise in house prices and the drying up of homeownership policies that have discouraged low-income households from buying property have robbed them of their core purpose. And the group didn’t manage to get into the upper class in time. The health crisis, then the war in Ukraine and the associated rising material and energy prices dealt her the deathblow.

“With year after year adding building restrictions, rising material prices and rising land prices, the average customer buying a home today is very different from who bought it five or six years agosums up Damien Hereng, President of the French association of single house builders.

The world with AFP

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