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Orange subcontractor Scopelec acquired by Circet

It’s the end of a major soap opera on the French fiber optic market. Placed in safeguard proceedings, then in receivership earlier this year, Scopelec, the largest cooperative group in France, which is also one of Orange’s main subcontractors, is to be taken over by Circet, a service provider to telecom infrastructure in Europe, which has 15,000 employees worldwide.

The Lyon commercial court accepted the offer of this player, held by the British fund ICG, to the detriment of that of Newscope, a cooperative formed by hundreds of Scopelec employees and supported by Carlos Verkaeren, current chairman of the management board of the group based in the Tarn. Circet has undertaken to take over 1,049 jobs out of the 2,300 from Scopelec, while Newscope’s offer provided for retaining 1,500 employees. A few months ago, Scopelec employed 3,600 people. The selected buyer also decided to abandon the activities of the cooperative group in the Réunion-Mayotte and South-East areas, as well as the “Usages and Services” division.

The outcome is not that hoped for by the employees of Scopelec, who blame Orange for not having supported their offer. They had even written to the President of the Republic on December 16 to obtain his support. Without success. Orange’s historic subcontractor for the installation of the operator’s networks, Scopelec lost more than 60% of its contracts with the French telecom giant in November 2021, following a call for tenders. This setback caused it to lose around 40% of its turnover, which amounted to 475 million euros in 2021. Orange had highlighted a quality of service that had become insufficient to justify its choice. get to text

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