Soon after the armistice, the French Ministry of Trade and Industrial Reconstruction wanted to ensure professional opportunities in the French steel industry which was enhanced by the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France.
They wished to establish a strong enough body able to be able to influence exportation.
In March 1919, Charles Cabaud, then President of Descours & Cabaud, decided on the founding of the French Steel Products Export Company (S.E.P.M.F.). Its headquarters were based at 5 Lefebvre Street in Paris. Descours & Cabaud was its major shareholder and Charles Cabaud the Chairman of the Management Board.
In 1944, the S.E.P.M.F. became MISETAL, referring to the telegraphic address of the previous company. Gérald de Broissia was its first President.
In these difficult times, and in addition to its export activity, MISETAL was entrusted with the task of Purchasing Office for all products for all the French overseas operations of Descours & Cabaud.
Up to 1945, Descours & Cabaud had been outsourcing to a Belgian company, the S.A.C.A.F. (Société d’Achats et d’Affrètements: Procurement and Charter Company), with the objective of supplying the Descours & Cabaud outlets in Argentina. A few months after the end of the war, Descours & Cabaud handed over its purchasing services to its export subsidiary, MISETAL.
Indochina found itself faced with post-war chaos. In order to get the economy rolling once more, the French Overseas territory Ministry created a semi-public body, the Indochina Supply Centre (C.A.I.C.: Centre des Approvisionnements de l’Indochine).
Gérard de Broissia, President of MISETAL, was entrusted with its chairmanship. He assumed his duties until the dissolution of the C.A.I.C. in 1949. He was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) for his services.
The CAIC had procurement agencies in New York, London and Calcutta. Its task was to approach Anglo-Saxon industries to free quotas of goods for Indochina, which Europe could not supply in the short-term.
Towards the end of 1946, to coordinate the CAIC activities and at the same time fulfil its task of “Purchasing Office” for the French Overseas Territories, MISETAL set up its office, MISETAL INCORPORATED NEW-YORK, on 5th Avenue.
MISETAL then progressively became responsible for all the procurement of the Companies and Subsidiaries of Descours & Cabaud.
Its original objective was the sales of Jeep cars and WILLYS OVERLAND spare parts, manufactured in Ohio by a plant approached by MISETAL New-York.
In 1948, MISETAL joined the Société Poulet in Saigon with a view to representing new trademarks, including CINZANO, in Indochina. MISETAL continued its development in Indochina throughout the fifties.
Amongst others, MISETAL operated a garage and a service station of cycles, motorcycles and scooters. The company took over the Panhard (cars) and GMC (lorries) trademark franchises and opened an agency in Phnom-Penh.
1961: Closing down of the MISETAL office in New-York.
1966: The Descours & Cabaud Group ceased activity in Indochina and started its deployment in mainland France.
In addition to its export activity, Descours & Cabaud entrusted MISETAL with the “Direct Businesses” Department. Three sales agencies were opened on the French market, in Paris, Lyon and Saint-Etienne.
From 1972 to 1986, the business handled by MISETAL represented around 300 000 tons per year (1/3 exported, 2/3 in France).
In the early 2000s, MISETAL opened a sourcing office in Shanghai as well as some representation offices in Brazil and Turkey.
In 2008, the MISETAL headquarters were relocated to Lyon, close to its parent company, Descours & Cabaud.
90 years after its founding, MISETAL is still committed to serving its partners – clients and suppliers – and to creating cutting-edge business opportunities whilst respecting the values transmitted by its predecessors over several generations.