French Rougier Group filed for bankruptcy on March 6, blaming persistent difficulties in Cameroon. Rougier complained about the logistical problems of the port of Douala which, according to the company, has disrupted the activities of the company's subsidiaries in Cameroon, Congo and Central African Republic. Moreover, a recent congestion of the container terminal, which led its operator to limit access, has led to cash pressure, accentuated by the delay in repayments of VAT credits from African operating subsidiaries.
The Rougier Group manages over 2.3 million hectares (5.7 million hectares) of forests in Africa and runs seven factories on the continent, with employees in Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
After initiating several internal measures to deal with this situation, the Rougier Group has initiated discussions with its main creditors in France as part of measures to prevent difficulties. In order to implement the restructuring actions, the Rougier Group has requested, with the support of its main French creditors, the opening of insolvency proceedings in favor of certain French companies only with the Commercial Court of Poitiers. The commercial court of Poitiers will examine these applications on March 9, 2018. According to the company, a new press release will then be issued to inform the market about the decision of the Court.
Founded in 1923, the Rougier Group is a leader in African certified tropical timber. The group operates around three main activities: Rougier Afrique International (exploitation of natural forests, industrial transformation and international trade), Importation and distribution in France of wood of all origins (including Rougier Sylvaco Panneaux) and Plantations (study, management and investments in industrial forest plantations in Africa).