Claim that the French MNC began shifting its shares without clearing the provident fund, gratuity fund, and profit share of its workers
Employees and workers of Sanofi Bangladesh Limited demanded payment of all their arrears and benefits before shifting the shares of the company.
Around 379 workers of the Sanofi Bangladesh Limited Workers-Employees Association revealed their demand in a press statement on Monday.
According to the statement, the French multinational company started shifting its shares without clearing the provident fund, gratuity fund, profit share of its workers, which goes against legal procedures.
Workers said that they also filed a case against the company in this regard on June 28 earlier this year, while the court directed the French company to resolve the matter within 15 days.
But the French company has been trying to shift its shares despite the case against it being under trial, which is also disrespectful to the court, they also said.
The members of the association also urged the assistance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and drew the attention of Bangladesh Bank and all other state-owned banks in resolving the matter.
However, Sanofi Bangladesh Limited has clarified their stance in this matter in a separate statement.
In the statement the company said that this matter is sub-judice and hence they are unable to comment on the subject.
“As a responsible company, Sanofi puts the interests and well-being of its employees on high priority. In January 2021, when Sanofi announced its intention to sell its full share in Sanofi Bangladesh Limited (Sanofi Bangladesh), to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited (Beximco Pharma), we explained that upon completion of the share transfer, Sanofi Bangladesh will remain a separate legal entity, and Sanofi Bangladesh employees will continue their employment there, on the same terms and conditions that existed then,” the statement added.
The statement also reiterated that Beximco Pharma was carefully selected to continue growing the business to provide more patients with increased access to Sanofi’s products across Bangladesh.
Earlier, on October 14 of the last year, the country chair and managing director of Sanofi Bangladesh declared the handover of 54.6% ownership of the company to a third party by March, 2021.
In this continuation, Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd signed the acquisition deal with Bangladeshi drug manufacturer Beximco Pharma on January 20 of this year.
Sources said that the Bangladesh Bank recently approved Beximco to acquire 54.6% shares of Sanofi Bangladesh at Tk480 crore.
The Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company will take over the shares from Fisons Ltd, and May & Baker Ltd of the UK which are the two foreign shareholders of Sanofi Bangladesh.
According to sources, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited has already applied for Tk375 in loans from the state-run Agrani Bank for the pulling of the acquisition.
However, the declaration of the shifting of shares then prompted uncertainty among the local workers and employees of the French multinational company.
But in a statement stated on October 16, 2019, the company said that the company's product sales will continue in the country even if the mother company resigns its ownership.
According to Sanofi, the company has been manufacturing drugs in Bangladesh from 1958, under the supervision of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC).
The company started its operation in Bangladesh as May and Baker in 1958, and later merged with various entities to form Sanofi-Aventis in 2004.
It was renamed Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd in 2013. The company has a modern pharmaceutical plant in Tongi of Gazipur.
The company also supplies its global brands of vaccines, insulin and chemotherapy drugs to Bangladesh through direct imports.
According to the company, some 45.36% ownership of the company is owned by the Government of Bangladesh (BCIC 20% and the Ministry of Industry 25.4%).
Sanofi Bangladesh generated a revenue of Tk388 crore, a profit of Tk49.79 crore, and Tk609 crore of gross assets in 2019, said sources.