Arena Technologies Development & Production (Arena TDP), a subsidiary of the Arena Group that manufactures almost 60 percent of the elastic swimwear products with the help of Tunisian subcontractors, is expected to close its doors by next March. The company, which fell under the control of a new institutional investor earlier this year, has started a consultation procedure with the subsidiary’s 169 employees in view of the planned shutdown.

Arena has already proceeded to structural adjustments in its Swiss office. Located at Libourne near Bordeaux, Arena TDP broke even more or less last year on revenues of about €13 million, in spite of considerable efforts made since 2003 to reduce its structural cost advantages. Speedo, Adidas and other major competitors have no manufacturing facilities of their own in Western Europe.

Arena says the shutdown of the French factory is absolutely essential to safeguard the group’s future as it will liberate financial resources needed to reach competitive levels in R&D, marketing and sales. It has already started the discussions to outsource the production in the Far East.