The French energy company Engie is preparing to part with two-thirds of its service activities as part of a major strategic refocus. In Belgium, the Engie Solutions subsidiary will be sold.
“Bright” and “Blue”
If this strategic refocusing is not a new announcement, it nevertheless appears that the sale of certain subsidiaries is about to accelerate. On the sidelines of the publication of its annual results on Friday, February 26, the group has indeed unveiled the establishment of a new entity called “Bright”. The latter aims to bring together all the activities likely to be sold as part of Engie’s restructuring program.. According to the French daily Les Echos, this entity represents 12 to 13 billion euros in turnover, for an operating profit of between 350 and 450 million. In short, two thirds of the group’s service activities and some 74,000 employees, including nearly 10,000 in Belgium through the subsidiary Engie Solutions (Axima, Cofely and Fabricom).
By service activities, we must therefore understand those relating to heating, air conditioning, building management or even electrical installations. The third destined to remain in the bosom of Engie concerns all satellite activities relating to the renewable energies, gas and network infrastructure sector.. These have been housed, along with Engie’s key businesses, within a second entity, called “Blue”, whose structure will also be simplified.
Deadline: July 1
Behind these operations, there is also the will to create a champion of energy services. And Engie has already announced that it wants to keep a stake in the entity in the process of being sold. Moreover, the new entity is currently headed by Jérôme Stubler, a former senior manager of Vinci Construction – a company whose subsidiary Vinci Energies is one of the leaders in the energy services market.
“We are not talking about the social plan. No cut in staff is planned.”
The form the cession will take is not yet known. Several avenues are being studied, including the listing of part of the capital, the acquisition of a stake by investment funds or the outright sale of part of the shares to a sufficiently greedy actor.. On the other hand, if there is one certainty, it is that these points fully occupy the group’s senior executives at the present time. Consultation sessions with union representatives have also started. The group insists that there will be no impact on employment. “We are not talking about a social plan. No cut in staff is planned,” says a well-informed source.
For the end of the story, see you next July 1st, date on which the group is supposed to communicate on the outcome of internal discussions. Until then, it will be a question of reassuring the workers, all in an atmosphere already weighed down by the shutdown of Belgian nuclear power plants.