French plastics giant Sommer Allibert SA has agreed to sell its Sauvagnat Allibert SE garden furniture business.
Patrick Goffi, founder and manager of GLD of Grenoble, France, will take over the business by the end of the year, according to an Oct. 15 news release from Sommer Allibert.
Sommer Allibert's Evolutif and Triconfort plastic furniture lines and accessories generated sales of 450 million French francs ($88 million) in 1996, according to spokeswoman Nathalie DuCroquet.
The sale includes three manufacturing facilities in France: two wholly owned by Sauvagnat Allibert and one a 49 percent joint venture with French firm MAB, DuCroquet said.
In all, 400 manufacturing, sales and administrative employees will be affected by the sale, DuCroquet said.
Sommer Allibert, based in Naterre, France, does not operate any North American resin furniture manufacturing facilities, but does have an importing and wholesaling unit based in Huntersville, N.C.
At one time, Sommer Allibert and Wooster, Ohio-based Rubbermaid Inc. operated a furniture plant in Stanley, N.C., as a joint venture. That partnership dissolved in 1992 with Rubbermaid retaining control of the Stanley operation. Rubbermaid sold the Stanley plant to Sunbeam Corp. in 1994.
A subsidiary of Keter Group Ltd. of Israel acquired the facility from Sunbeam Corp. in June 1997.
Sommer Allibert — a publicly traded company with interests in plastic automotive parts, packaging and flooring — reported 1996 sales of 14 billion francs ($2.74 billion).