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WS Recycling Diesel: French plant, Austrian shareholders and Swiss customers: an international project by IMCN consultants

Completed by: Hommes & Performance


Hommes & Performance (IMCN France) and an Austrian consulting partner joined forces to create a united, bi-national team consisting of experienced management consultants from both countries. The team worked together to support an Austrian entrepreneur in creating and consolidating his companies, which specialise in the manufacture and sale of bio-diesel, with a manufacturing base in France and sales site in Switzerland. The joint IMCN team used their knowledge of local culture and administration to ensure smooth transitions during the process, which involved employees working in different countries.The Austrian consulting partner had worked for many years for the entrepreneur with projects including strategy issues, dis-investment and merger & acquisitions.In 2012, the entrepreneur took the opportunity to buy a company that had gone bankrupt, based in Burgundy (France). It had been developing a process to manufacture bio-diesel from waste. 

Its key aims were:

  • To finalise the development of the manufacturing process in the French plant.
  • To scale-up manufacturing in the French plant.
  • To sell the product to companies in Switzerland, a country actively promoting the switch from agricultural bio-diesel to non-agricultural bio-diesel.
  • To develop other production facilities close to other sources of raw material.

The plan

Remaining in close contact with the entrepreneur, we worked on the overall management of the project including design and strategic planning, helping to implement the operations in Switzerland:

This included:

  • Strategic plan and budget plan.
  • Financing, searching and finding co-investors.
  • The establishment and follow-up of project plan and budget.
  • The establishment of companies in Switzerland.
  • Recruitment of key personnel.
  • The finalization of contracts with client as well as suppliers of raw material.
  • Sourcing accounting.
  • Public relations and networking with public authorities. 

The implementation of the French operations included:

  • Acquisition of the plant and dealing with the French bankruptcy administration.
  • Recruitment of key personnel for the French plant.
  • Coordination with the French authorities responsible for chemical industry in order to gain authorisation to restart production. This was subject to environmental clean-up.
  • Sourcing French banks and searching for credits.
  • Sourcing public subsidies.
  • Conducting a public relation campaign targeting French stakeholders including local, regional and national politicians and administrations as well as ecological non-profit organisations.
  • Searching for French co-investors.

Outcome 18 months later

  • The French plant is running on a continuous basis. The environmental issues have been fully dealt with, staff recruitment is complete, the production line has been completely refurbished, the manufacturing process has been stabilised and the first objective for production pace has been reached.
  • Distribution and logistics are on track with production currently being sold to a customer in Switzerland and inventory is financed.
  • Administrative flows between the various companies has been organised.

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