This was the time when the phylloxera disease attacked grape vines, and most of them had to be torn up around the town of Tournus. Prominent local personalities and engineers decided to start manufacturing goods made of aluminium and set up the « Manufacture Métallurgique de Tournus » in September 1910. The first building was completed in June 1911. The company employed 40 workmen right from the outset.
Pechiney bought into the capital. A number of innovations and the acquisition of new skills such as stamping and the purchase of new hydraulic presses led to the rapid development of the business. The company now had a payroll of 400 and aluminium had become a symbol of prosperity.
A large number of young people joined the company, bringing new energy to the factory. The « Manufacture Metallurgique de Tournus », now employing over 600 people, was now recognised by all for the quality and durability of its products. Most shipments used the railways and there was a direct branch line into the factory to make loading easier.
A new workshop was built for the « handling » department, which manufactured tanks, des isothermal containers andtrolleys for the food industries, fish trade and catering establishments: this was the beginning of Tournus Equipement. The company started to use stainless steel for its products.
During the eighties « MMT » was taken over by Vivalp, then by Terraillon. In 1991, Tournus Equipement was sold to a shareholder from Lyon, René Aldeguer, also owner of « Morice », the oven manufacturer. Further development of the business was aimed essentially at producing stainless steel equipment for professional kitchens and self-service lines.
The « Caisse des Depots et Consignations » became the majority shareholder of Tournus Equipement. Considerable investments and a succession of new product launches have now earned Tournus Equipement the number 1 position in France for stainless steel professional kitchen equipment and sales counters for sea food products.
Qualium hands Tournus Equipement over to its executives who join forces with MML Capital, UI Gestion and Bpifrance (Banque Publique d’investissement). The executives hold most of the capital. This is the start of a new venture for Tournus Equipement, which will drive the company to strengthen its position as a leading player in France and to expand on the international market.
Tournus Equipement accelerates its growth with the acquisition of the British company CATERING EQUIPMENT DESIGN. CED has a catalogue of products and technical and commercial expertise that is well known in Great Britain in the fast food and takeaway sector and for bespoke countering.
Associated with Unigrains, Andera and Bpifrance, today the directors and employees shareholders hold 68% of the capital. The company strenghens its role as a major player in France and continues its international development.