PARIS -- Plastic component maker Novares, which went into temporary receivership at the end of April, is restarting production at 13 of 19 European factories after receiving a cash injection of 45 million euros ($49 million) from its two main shareholders.
The money was provided by Equistone, an investment fund that holds 72 percent of the French supplier, and Bpifrance France, the French public investment fund, which holds 15 percent.
Novares says it has received seven potential investment proposals to ensure the company can continue to operate following the receivership procedure.
With almost all of its 45 plants worldwide closed because of coronavirus restrictions, Novares was burning cash at a rate of 4 million euros a day. It said it needed 115 million euros in total to restart activities.
But despite state loan guarantees and bailout programs, Novares could not reach a rapid agreement with its lenders to ease its cash crunch and went into receivership for a period of 34 days. It was one of the first big French companies to seek protection from creditors due to the coronavirus crisis.
Novares said in a release Monday that plants are reopening in France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Turkey. The factories in Europe account for about 46 percent of the company's revenue
When and whether Novares's plants in the U.S., which accounts for 25 percent of sales, will reopen is unclear.
"We are now resuming our operations in Europe, and are confident that a solution will be found in the coming days to enable the company to restart activities at its American plants, as well as to ensure the future of the Novares Group in the long term," Novares CEO Pierre Boulot said in the release.
Novares said a decision was expected on the seven investment proposals by the end of May, adding that four of the proposals would "ensure the financial continuity required at the end of the receivership procedure."
Novares had net debt at the end of 2018 of around 260 million euros.
Created in Monaco 72 years ago, Novares nearly went bankrupt in 2009, when it was saved by a state-led fund for automotive suppliers FMEA, which has since been integrated into Bpifrance. The company, which was known as Mecaplast until 2017, has 12,000 employees. Its components are used in more than 400 vehicle models.
Its revenue doubled in eight years and stood at 1.5 billion euros in 2019, when it booked record earnings.