SAINT-LAURENT-D’AIGOUZE As a dog and cat in the cellar of the cooperative

In Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze, the former cooperative cellar is rented by Kaï Expert (Photo Yannick Pons)

The owner of the old cooperative wine cellar wants to sell his property to the company Animo Concept, the French leader in dog hygiene. Like a cat, the mayor of the city Thierry Féline jumped at the chance by buying the lot to create a management center. The fate of the twelve employees of the Kaï Expert company currently occupying the premises is uncertain.

The fate of the twelve employees of the Kaï Expert company currently occupying the premises is uncertain. The owner of the wine cooperative cellar located in the city center of Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze, Norbert Requier, now a retired businessman, wants to sell his property to the company Animo Concept, whose boss is Olivier Rasse a resident of the town for twenty-seven years. Thierry Féline, the town’s mayor, jumped at the chance to exercise his right of first refusal by purchasing the lot. It spent 1.78 million euros to build an associative and municipal cultural center as well as free parking open to all. If it seems that the acquisition of the town hall property is definitely recorded for 2023, there are questions, especially about the company that occupies the building as well as the fate of its twelve employees.

Between the dog and the wolf

Thierry Féline fought hard, drawing on his experience as a bailiff’s clerk for six months to buy the former wine cooperative through preemption. The mayor of Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze wants to move the existing association and administrative offices in some areas (to be sold) to this new administrative center. This transfer of interest centers will bring money that will allow the municipality to carry out the tasks that are in the project around the old cellar of the cooperative. In the meantime, the municipality will collect the rents of the logistics company built on the site, which according to the elected official, is higher than the annuity of the debt related to the acquisition.

But the story is not over. The logistics company Kaï Expert, represented by its boss Jean Sébastien Dedieu, which currently occupies the premises, still enjoys a nine-year lease that is still in its second year, according to Norbert Requier. The acquisition of the real estate complex, which represents 5,000 m2 of buildings on one and a half hectares of land in the center of town, should have been recorded, according to Thierry Féline, for the summer of 2023.

For Animo Concept, it’s back to the niche

The current owner Norbert Requier bought the site of his own logistics company, La Saladelle, which had customers at the time the companies Barcardi-Martini and Pernod-Ricard, where he stored and delivered in the southern quarter in France. The site was then leased to Kaï Expert, also a logistics company, whose warehouse had recently caught fire. Norbert Requier said he was about to sell in 2015 to a developer who wanted to build a retirement home. Thierry Féline has done it “Storm case by not signing the construction permit on time”explained the retiree.

Today, Olivier Rasse, president of Animo Concept, is the main client of KaÏ Expert, so he wants to buy the site. But he had the impression that Thierry Féline was playing cat and mouse with him. “ Successive mayors have all promised us a craft zone and nothing has happened since. I have been a citizen of the city for 27 years and I have never been able to establish my company here, he explained. While his company is based in Marsillargues. Thierry Féline called me on the phone to tell me the site was for sale. So I wanted to buy it but he used his right of first refusal before. Then on the phone, he said thank you. I served him like a hare”he added.

“What will happen to them? »

The businessman, who wanted to continue his activities in Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze, decided but remained concerned about the company’s employees who were in the cellar of the cooperative. According to him, the town hall is already paying the loan annuities if it is not the owner and the eviction of the company Kaï Expert in the municipality will cost 1.5 million euros to the residents of Saint-Laurent. “This story is worth €80,000, I am deceived. But this case is not over yet, I filed a complaint. I am worried as a citizen of the community and I think about the boss of Kaï Expert and his employees, what will happen to them?, he said. Thierry Féline succeeded in buying the site, but a solution must be found for the staff who currently work there.

Yannick Pons

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