Up until recently, Scops which wished to develop and grow externally were not able to create cooperative groupings and therefore had to make use of subsidiaries which were not Scops. However, as a result of the introduction of this legislative provision, Scops may henceforward create groupings and turn their subsidiaries into Scops in order to establish a truly cooperative form of networked expansion across their entire structure.
The new provision on forming groupings allows Scops not only to develop and to grow bigger in order to be more competitive, but also to ensure that the workers are able to participate in the results and governance of the enterprise and to increase the financing of the group through the introduction of employee share ownership.
Furthermore, the Scops which are members of a grouping are required to harmonise their cooperative practices and therefore to introduce a high degree of synergy. In this context, the “parent” Scop holds 51% of the capital and the voting rights, whilst a share in the capital is set aside for the workers of the so-called “daughter” companies. Calice: the first Scop grouping TPC, a Scop which provides contract packaging services on the cosmetics market, has used the Scop grouping provision in order to embark upon an external expansion operation. TPC’s intention was to acquire a subsidiary outside of its sector of activity and to turn it into a Scop in order to ensure its growth, which would otherwise be limited, to introduce the employment values of the Scop system, to transfer its own values whilst developing this new model and, finally, to make a viable investment.
With the support of the Scop network, including UR Scop Centre-Val de Loire, TPC acquired Sefard and its employees. Sefard is a metal working and engineering company which specialises in the production of springs. It has a turnover of 5 million EURO and 50 employees. TCP’s experience in terms of governance and the cooperative way of working, as well as the financial support provided to Sefard, which in turn was supported by its own workforce which threw all of its weight behind the project, made it possible to successfully turn Sefard into a Scop.
Together, the two Scops have now formed Calice, a Scop grouping which has 231 employees, including 213 worker members. This first Scop grouping has been able to put together a sound financial plan and to look with confidence towards its solid long-term development thanks to the support of the Regional Council, the various SSE instruments and financial instruments provided by the Scop Movement, which made it possible to establish a global financial package of 2 million EUR, including a 150,000 EUR contribution from Socoden (in the form of a five year equity loan to finance cash-flow) and security for bank loans. This stimulus is designed to contribute to the development of cooperatives promoted by the Movement by further reinforcing both the growth and competitiveness of Scops.
*Calice: is the name chosen for this first Scop grouping by the TPC general assembly. The name is taken from the botanical term which refers to the calyx tube of a flower, which is a ring-like protective structure which allows each of the petals to open and flourish.