The Kolmi Hopen Group is a leading company in France and worldwide in the manufacture of surgical and respiratory masks and, more generally, of personal protective equipment. Already established in Atlantic France with two sites near Angers, the group is creating a new subsidiary named ManiKHeir. The company will set up a factory dedicated to the manufacturing of nitrile gloves in Sarthe. A major industrial investment backed by public bodies.
In Bessé-sur-Braye, Atlantic France, the former industrial site of Arjowiggins is going to enter a new era. The Kolmi Hopen group announced it will install an automated factory of nitrile disposable gloves which will be in service in Spring 2022.
300 jobs in the long term and massive public support
The objective of the new company called ManiKHeir will be to ensure, through local production, the supply of quality protection for health personnel and sensitive industries in addition to the products historically distributed in France. The specialist of personal protective equipment is aiming to create 150 to 200 jobs within one year and 300 jobs in the long term.
The project secured an investment of more than €40 million and has received important support from the French State (€10 million) and from Atlantic France’s regional council (€5 million).
Relocating strategic industrial production
Atlantic France is a land of manufacturing, and this expertise becomes very valuable when it comes to the relocation of important industrial activities. Almost all nitrile gloves are made in Malaysia, and the Covid crisis has shown that it is strategic to be able to rely on local production capacities.
Our ambition is to have a range of nitrile gloves that will combine our ability to produce in Europe (France) with strong partnerships with the best of our current or future suppliers, in line with our corporate social responsibility. Most of this production will be additional to existing activities, as we will be supplying new market segments.Gérald Heuliez, managing director of Kolmi Hopen
As well as this, there is a shared desire to promote and to strengthen the health sovereignty of France, with the establishment of the first French factory to manufacture nitrile gloves which are essential health products, and which have been in short supply since the crisis. To establish this new production unit, we benefited from the highly valuable support of Business Solutions Atlantic France, the international department of Solutions&co.