Orpea changes leadership and hopes to open a new page, instructions and reports AG

time to open a new page in the history of Orpea “, said at the beginning of the general meeting the President of Ehpad Governor Philippe Charrier. sense of accomplishment “. And yet he leaves the ship on the edge of the abyss, since ” extremely deep crisis experienced after the publication of the book Gravediggers”, in January last year. This book, written by Victor Castagnet and the result of a three-year investigation, denounces the living conditions of some residents, as well as their mistreatment in Orpea nursing homes.

The group then tied up the controversy and continued their descent into hell, notably with an insider trading investigation directed against former CEO Yves le Masne, who has since been replaced by Laurent Guyot, in charge of fixing the situation at the company. Mediapart then uncovered financial embezzlement in a holding company based in Luxembourg and owned by the group’s former leader in Italy. So many factors that led the state to intervene in the case, in particular by conducting investigations to control the methods of manager Ehpad.

Controversial issues…

Faced with this avalanche of difficulties, the president wished to protect his future ex-company by distinguishing himself ” three main subjects: quality of service, use of public funds and embezzlement of funds. “. On the first point, Philippe Charrier confirmed, drawing on the findings of an assessment mission carried out by independent firms, ” that there was no organized system of abuse or rationing of food “even if he admits dysfunction. According to him, an important point, because the subject is at the heart of criticism of the book. gravediggers. The president even relies on the report of the Accounts Chamber, which raised ” industry difficulties that affect not only Orpea After families filed many complaints, some shareholders wondered about possible new provisions to fund potential compensation. The group replied that it had already allocated funds (83 million euros for fiscal year 2021), however, it did not consider new ones for specific complaints.

On the second point, he admits unreliable workforce reporting processes and unwanted procurement process “even if he qualifies by claiming that the amounts charged remain insignificant on the Orpea scale. Finally, on the last point about embezzlement, he wanted to insist on the responsiveness of the group’s management, which opened an investigation as soon as they learned that some managers at the head office set up ” a system for concealing these financial embezzlements.” And if the passivity of the board of directors challenged the shareholder, the president defended himself by arguing that ” the lack of an internal control system, although in place, prevented reporting of these practices to the board of directors. The group has not filed any named complaints against the fired people and has no intention of doing so, but has filed a complaint against X instead.

… Along the three axes of refund

After the crisis, the group is being overhauled, focusing on three elements: operational and human resource management, and business ethics. Regarding the first axis, the president highlighted the actions already implemented to strengthen dialogue with residents and families (listening platform, General States of Old Age), as well as to simplify processes related to care (systematic reporting of adverse events, encourage the autonomy of facility directors for greater efficiency ).

In terms of human resources, Orpea wants to improve social dialogue with its employees and increase its attractiveness (overtime pay, learning incentives). Finally, the group intends to strengthen internal controls (declaring conflicts of interest) at the same time as its ethics, in particular by promoting its new code of corporate social responsibility among its employees. The priorities are shared by the new CEO Laurent Guyot, who stressed: giant construction site I am waiting for him. The head paid special attention to the safety and working conditions of employees, as well as the quality of care and treatment of patients, and the small amounts of budgets allocated for food per inhabitant worried the bearers of the shares.

3 billion sales in three years

While the financial target was not disclosed, a reminder was made of Orpea’s encouraging half-year results. The European leader in nursing homes had a turnover of 2.31 billion euros at the end of June, representing an organic growth of 6.4% y/y. In international clinics, the dynamics were generally good, while in France, activity in nursing homes has picked up since June.

In response to several questions from shareholders about the group’s sale plans, the CEO emphasized that he wants to refocus.” Orpea actions in the nursing professions “. Therefore, many properties will be alienated, mainly to institutional investors (large portfolios), with a target of 3 billion euros by 2025. Regarding the development model of the group, Laurent Guyot confirmed: ” want to use more of the group’s own resources because the debt financing undertaken in recent years is not viable and, in addition, has led to the refinancing of banks “.

Location for the voting results, which are now being revealed. Dividends for the last financial year are not distributed. The appointment of Laurent Guillot to the board of directors was approved by 99.7%, and the appointment of Guillaume Pepy by 99.3%. Former managing director Yves Le Masne’s 2021 and 2022 award was over 98% rejected. The Philippe Charrier award for the periods 2021 and 2022 was accepted with low scores of 75% and 72% of the votes respectively. Provisional awards for 2022 for newcomers, chairman and chief executive officer have been approved.