Former Sweetcom faces a painful reorganization

In April 2021, Laurent Garrido appeared at the bar of the Bordeaux Trade Court as Best in Show. The latter provides in particular for the seizure of 113 employees. Many of them hope to find new impetus after years of difficulties and doubts. Hope tarnished today, it seems, by a painful reorganization provoked by some collaborators embarked on the adventure of recovery. Moreover, more than sixty people will still be present today at Bixente Energies, a subsidiary of DER which at that time absorbed the former from Vivr’energies. It was the recent website of Sweetcom de Laprade he moved ” In Parcoul, in Dordogne, 15 km away, on the first floor of a townhouse.


Following the April 2021 acquisition of Vivr’énergies (formerly Sweetcom), DER President Laurent Garrido relocated the spacious, almost new Laprade site, to install “dozens of administrative staff” on the first floor of this building.

In this position, acknowledges Laurent Garrido, CEO of DER (110 employees and 11 million euros in turnover in 2021) “difficulties”. I do not deny the existence of dysfunctions. When you are forced to take over employees as part of an acquisition, it is always sensitive.”. why ? Because some don’t necessarily have the will to survive ” And the “We had to In this regard, the business manager determines that, a few days after the acquisition “20 to 25 salespeople left the chassis at a brisk pace”. without an account “More than a dozen inherited disabilities from the previous period”. For him, it was a lot of skills.” ventilation » On other group sites, particularly technicians and salespeople. But he refuses, despite our requests, to give any details of the reality of the workforce, departures, or even the current organizational chart. Finally, it was Dennis Plaut, Director of Communications, who came back to us, explaining that Bixente-Energies had only published “of fifty departures.”.

Under the old system, salespeople were paid ministers’ salaries.

However, this bleeding, some Bixente employees denounce today, against the background of strong management and serial failures by the new management. This relates to the payment of paid leave, commissions, reimbursement of expenses, balances of any unfulfilled account and documents not referred to management. Many employees are now on sick leave. “Some do not dare to speak, for fear of reprisals but also because the economic and employment situation is complicated in the Charente Analyzes Anna, CSE member.

Benedict (1), A “Sweetcom’s 15-Year History” He also still works for DER-Bixente. At the other end of the line, he evokes in a resigned voice, “big data” And the commitments made by Laurent Garrido in the bar of the court, which would have remained a dead letter. Where are the complete order books he announced to us at the time? »Anna thunders, who tells of how she felt that she was completely confused Another employee mentions “Closet ‘, another person abolished his position, “The impossibility of finding a place for the individual in the new organization.”

“Why did DER buy us?”

For an observer, a good connoisseur of the local economic environment and its actors, DER (which has five subsidiaries) “He has a real management problem and lacks skills in the face of the very booming market the group is surfing in”. Ensure, however, that the latter “Under full development”. Further, explains Laurent Garrido (who announced betting a turnover of 50 million euros by 2024), ‘Attempting to recruit, in vain, across the board’. In addition to that” In the old system (at Sweetcom’s time, editor’s note), salespeople were paid ministers” Inflated by commissions indexed to “Products are sold out too expensive “, Let’s go.

Anna, turning the question day and night in her head today: “Why did DER buy us? Because it looks beautiful on paper? Because it was profitable? I just want to know.”. Laurent Garrido claims that he went there to find commercial and technical skills, which were lacking in the development of the group. claiming that “If some employees ask themselves this question, it is dangerous!” maybe yes.

* Assumes first name

Heavy past of the company

First there was Sweetcom. The company, which specializes in energy, was founded in 2002 in Labrador, near Opétier, by Rafael Mignon. In 2016, the group (whose headquarters in Labride was burned down by a former employee) employed up to 550 people and was one of the leaders in the energy renewal market. Before suffering major financial losses in 2018 and a legal ring for creator Rafael Mignon in early 2020. The latter was convicted of forgery, use of forgery, abuse of vulnerability and questionable business practices between 2010 and 2016 by the Angoulême Assize Court.
In February 2020, Christophe Berenger, president of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, a restructuring firm, was appointed president of Vivr’énergies, formerly known as Sweetcom. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is supporting the project with €500,000 from PGE support. But the company declared itself insolvent a year later. Three months later, it was the presentation of the DER Group, based in Asnières-sur-Nouère, that was chosen (out of four) to take over the company that would become Bixente Energies within the holding company.

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