Transmontagne goes bust

It is possible to dismiss the closure of the ski resorts of Abondance and Céüze as isolated incidents. Too small to survive in today’s climate. However news that the Transmontagne group has stopped paying bills has been like a cold July shower for businesses and workers in the Alps. Transmontagne has become a specialist in managing mid-mountain ski domains including the 1968 Olympic resort of Chamrousse as well as Superdévoluy, la Joue du Loup, le Queyras, Pra-Loup, Valfréjus, le Lioran and Bardonecchia. In addition to running ski lifts the group has interests in property and shops and is developing resorts in China and Eastern Europe. However it is best known for running the spectacular Dubaï snowdome.

chamrousse bachat boulou
New Transmontagne apartments at Chamrousse

Today Transmontagne will ask Lyon commercial court for the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Lyon court has a range of choices. It can allow Transmontagne to continue operating for a fixed time but with its debts frozen in an attempt to restructure the business or find new investors, it can allow a direct takeover or it can appoint a receiver to sell off the assets. The news has come as a shock to Transmontagne’s 300 employees and 1700 season workers who have already experienced a difficult winter of short time working. Some workers have not been paid for two months. The cold and wet start to the summer has not helped mountain resorts which offer activities such as open air swimming pools, tennis, mountain biking and walking. Experts have blamed Transmontagnes problems on rapid growth, the losses are rumoured to be in the 7-9 million euro range. Philippe Gausset, the managing director, said the lack of snow during the winter was directly responsible for the group’s current financial difficulties. The group had just received a cash injection of 600,000 euros from the Conseil Général des Hautes Alpes. Jean-Claude Catala, in charge of the Transmontagne file, said the news of the financial difficulties had come as a surprise to him.

Amongst Transmontagne’s shareholders is the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CdC), a state run bank which also owns a stake in the Compagnie des Alpes (CdA). It is unlikely that the CdA will be interested in running Transmontagne’s ski areas. The CdA has concentrated on high altitude skiing and is already digesting the acquisition of a 60% stake in the Société des Téléphériques de Val d Isère (STVI) as well as minority shareholdings of 20% in Morzine-Avoriaz (SERMA), Valmorel (DSV) and La Rosière (DSR). The local communities of the Queyras say that they will take control of the Société d’Economie Mixte (SEM) - a type of public company from Transmontagne. The group had an 18 year franchise on the resort’s ski lifts and had been unteraking a heavy investment programme including two new chairlifts and snow making at Ceillac and les Abriès. Experts said that the six seater high speed chair lifts, built by Poma, were too large for the ski domains. Although the ski area has a rustic charm it is isolated, the nearest town, Gap is over an hour’s drive. The area had further plans to restructure with new chair lifts at Molines and St Veran as well as the possible closure of the Aiguilles and Vielle Ville lifts. The investments are largely funded by Transmontagne, the French State and European Community.

Further Information
It’s not climate change, stupid!
Abondance abandons skiing
Val d’Isere for sale

Posted by davidof on Tuesday, 10 July, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Can anyone advise of the address of the receiver?

Posted by  on  Thursday, 12 July, 2007  at 08:53 AM

I would suggest contacting

Christian Delisle
chr.delisle @

Who has set up an Association for Transmontagne owners in Chamrousse. Even if you don’t own in Chamrousse he can probably provide you with useful information. The Association has contacted a lawyer to help them recover money. I will post other details as I receive them.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 12 July, 2007  at 12:15 PM

Davidof bonsoir,

Je trouve ce pseudo dans bon nombre de forum que je parcours…
Ski, rm, photo,…

Est-ce bien le même ?

Je suis sur les Alpes, pleins de sujets me passionnent…

Possible de m’écrire à

Sans obligations, bien entendu !

A peluche
Bruno cool smile

Posted by  on  Monday, 27 August, 2007  at 09:30 PM

Transmontagne currently have 3.6 million euros in unpaid rent to leaseback owners with a total debt of around 15 million euros for a turnover of 60million euros in 2006/7. That is around 1500 euros unpaid per apartment.

TM are supposed to be presenting a “plan de continuation” to the Tribunal de Commerce in Lyon during September.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 07 September, 2007  at 10:49 AM

The “plan de continuation” is going to reviewed early October by the TC in Lyon and TM can continue in its current state at least until early 2008.


Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 08 September, 2007  at 12:45 PM
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