Baelen Gaillard Industries (BGI) has formally expressed its interest in troubled French parts supplier Heuliez with a view to specialising in EVs.
BGI now specialises in bodywork among other divisions through its Buisard subsidiary and says it will work in the next few weeks with Heuliez employees and what it terms “social partners.”
“Heuliez is in an administration period and will be monitored for six months,” a BGI spokesman in France told just-auto.
The social partners mentioned could take the form of government-backed initiatives with speculation in the French press hinting the Poitou-Charentes regional administration as well as the French government – through its Fonds Strategique d’Investissement – could both support Heuliez financially – subject to a commerce tribunal judging the package viable by 28 July.
“Baelen Gaillard Industries is putting itself forward as a candidate to take over the business’ [Heuliez’s] traditional activities such as stamping, welding, assembly and bodywork,” noted BGI.
“Concentrating on this sub-contracting model, the business will also specialise in providing electric vehicle parts. The objective is to give back to Heuliez its status as a small and medium enterprise with a high-tech ‘Made in France’ that will accompany the construction of the electric vehicle of tomorrow.”
It also appears BGI is to partner with an overseas company to produce electric vehicles, although details remain sketchy.
“Concerning our German partner, this is Conenergy which is now analysing the nature of its commitment to take over the electric vehicle activity,” added the BGI spokesman.
BGI was created in 2003 by its two financial and industrial associates Pierre Baelen and Francois de Gaillard and now has a consolidated turnover of EUR125m (US$153m).
Gaillard is former president of automobile parts supplier Webasto Europe, while Baelen was previously with Societe Generale and responsible for numerous SMEs in France and overseas.
French industry minister Christian Estrosi has also been cited as mentioning investment fund Delamore & Owl as potential bidders for Heuliez, while adding: “Others [bidders] have chosen to stay in the shadows.”