Two French companies with operations in Georgia and a Norcross-based company with an extensive presence in Europe including France were honored at the Crystal Peach awards ceremony held by the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Chapter at the Capital City Club-Brookhaven on Feb. 7.

Modeled on similar events held by French-American chambers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, the ceremony presents awards for inbound and outbound investments between the U.S. and France.

David Appia, minister counselor of the French embassy’s Office of Commercial Affairs in Washington, congratulated Denys Gounod, the former president of the Atlanta chamber, for initiating the ceremony four years ago. He also praised Michele Oliveres, the current president, for its continuation.

The French company, SGD North America (Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres), was honored for its presence in Covington and Sparta. The company’s 330,000-square-foot facility in Covington where it manufactures glass perfume bottles and decanters for Mary Kay Inc., L’Oreal Group and Chanel added a fourth production line in 2007 with an investment of $4.2 million to create 35 jobs.

SGD has a sister plant in Sparta where the perfume bottles made in Covington are decorated. The company employs some 450 people in Georgia.

Last year Saint Gobain Group, which dates back to the mid 17th century when it was the glass manufacturer for the French King Louis XIV, sold SGD North America to a consortium of investment funds, but Saint Gobain reinvested to maintain a 20 percent stake in the company.

The second award went to a family-owned company, Francois & Co., which was founded in 1998 and produces hand-carved limestone mantelpieces and hand-crafted kitchen hoods, bathtubs, fireplace mantels and architectural accents made of Scagliola stone. Besides its showroom and headquarters in Atlanta, Francois & Co. has showrooms in Winter Park, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C. and West Hollywood, Calif.
Norcross-based Euramax International Inc., which was formed in 1996 to acquire the fabricated products business of Alumax Inc., an aluminum producer with the financial backing of Citigroup Venture Capital, Euramax has grown to become one of the world’s largest suppliers of specialty coated aluminum coil, aluminum building materials and recreational vehicle sidewalls in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Headquartered in Montreuil-Bellay, France, Euramax Industries S.A. produces aluminum pieces for such items as sunroofs and seat rails. It also produces doors and windows for the building industry.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...