Aeronautics. Mecachrome absorbs subcontractor WeAre to become a European heavyweight

It took a little over eight months and “significant efforts” from both parties involved for the aeronautical subcontractors, Mecachrome (high precision mechanics) and WeAre (manufacture of small and medium-sized parts) to announce that they have sealed their union. This new unit, which retains the Mecachrome name, promises to become one of the five largest manufacturers of elementary parts for aeronautics in Europe. “We are counting on a turnover which will increase from 450 million euros in 2022 to 750 million euros by 2025”, foresees Pascal Farella, ex-manager of WeAre appointed deputy general manager. As for the workforce, they should increase from 4,000 in 2022 to 6,000 employees by this horizon.

The reference shareholders of Mecachrome (Tikehau Ace Capital for 64.3% and Bpifrance for 35.7%) financed the takeover of WeAre, 16% of which was already controlled by Tikehau.

“WeAre had reached its limits in terms of size, financial and strategic stakes. In addition, the fourth generation of the family business is not able to take over”, lists Pascal Farella. “To sustain the group, it had to evolve. »

Focus factories

For Christian Cornille, who retains control of Mecachrome by becoming executive chairman of the new group, this merger is explained by “several synergies” between the two subcontractors. “They are commercial: we will be able to consolidate the flows of our factories”, he specifies. “Our industrial footprints are not redundant. Which means that our sites will be specialized”, advances the boss of the group, highlighting the concept of focus factories : automated production sites dedicated to the manufacture of a type of part for a customer. A solution capable of responding to the increase in production rates in the sector.

A factory of this type, located in Sablé-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe), already manufactures turbine blades for the Leap engines of the CFM International consortium. “Our ambition is to have one for Airbus”, warns Christian Cornille. “Which would validate our concept”. The new group responded four months ago to two calls for tenders from the European aircraft manufacturer for mechanical and sheet metal parts.

Audrey Sommazi

Pictured: a robot working on an automated assembly line from the Mecachrome group. Credits: Institutional video Mecachrome – DR.

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