Tourres & Cie, owner of Waltersperger, has purchased centuries-old French glassworks La Rochère 1475. The holding company, along with La Rochère’s co-investors, is looking to create synergies between the two historic glass specialists.
Nearly three years after its purchase of Normandy-based Waltersperger, France’s last semi-automatic glassmaker, holding company Tourres & Cie is adding La Rochère 1475, a family company and specialist in pressed glass, to its portfolio. “The two companies are very much complementary both in their expertise and in their market segments. La Rochère has an extensive background in pressed glass, and it serves the tableware and architecture markets, while Waltersperger, an expert in blown glass, works principally in perfumery and spirits. There will certainly be synergies both from a commercial and a technical standpoint,” Stéphanie Tourres, CEO of Waltersperger and member of the board, tells Luxe Packaging Insight. She points to cosmetics as one market segment that could be interested in working with a French glassmaker with an expertise in pressed glass.
La Rochère is nearly four times the size of Waltersperger, with an annual turnover of around €10m and a staff of 100. Some 60% of its activity is in tableware, while the remainder serves the architecture and interior decoration markets. Exports are also an important part of its strategy and makes up around 50% of sales. La Rochère North America, its subsidiary in the US, operates a sales office in New York.
Gilles Ambs, General Manager of La Rochère for the last several decades, has been appointed CEO of the glassworks. While Tourres & Cie is now its majority shareholder, seven managing executives from La Rochère, including its CEO, have taken minority shares in the company.
In terms of investments, Tourres explains that the production site has been very well maintained over the years. It operates an electric furnace for pressed glass and its furnaces for hand-made glass are currently being revamped. “With the team in place at La Rochère, we aim to breathe new life into what is a historic company by bringing fresh ideas and playing on the potential synergies between the two entities,” she concludes.