Group specialising in the installation and refurbishment electrical systems
Founded in 1981, the Carrera group, which specialises in heavy and light current installations, is active in the Paris region (Ile de France) and the Nantes area and more recently began operating in Lyon. The group has grown, both organically and acquisitively, and currently consists of four complementary companies, namely CESA (electrical refurbishment works, tertiary and residential sectors), Perrin (electrical refurbishment works, low-cost/subsidised housing sector), Meusnier (new electrical installation works, new-build residential sector) and Deletre (refurbishment of ERDF rising mains). The group employs 225 people, who fall under its three main managers, Franck Petit, Dominique Pasquotti and Yannick Roussel.
- Chairman: Franck Petit
- Nature of the deal: LBO Ter
- Date of the first investment: December 2014
ActoMezz took a minority stake in the Carrera Group in 2010, alongside the management team's majority stake. In recent years, the group's growth has been underpinned by a specialisation in electrical systems installation that its customers much appreciate, well-structured professional services and a flexible response model.
Capzanine, as the new majority shareholder, provided the management team with support in restructuring its capital, thereby enabling the exit of ActoMezz, advised by teams from Invest Securities Corporate Finance. Capzanine also arranged the senior mezzanine funding for this new transaction. The management team, with the addition of seven executives, will continue to be involved operationally and will be reinvesting substantially in the new transaction. Société Générale Capital Partenaires has also become a minority shareholder and mezzanine investor.
A number of growth strategies are being considered, including the acquisition and integration of additional companies that would add to and diversify the group’s range of products and services.
Supplier of ingredients and products to the bakery trade
Founded in 1986, the DGF group is the second-largest operator in France in the multi-temperature distribution of supplies to the bakery, pastry and catering trades. DGF is positioned not only as a wholesale distributor, but also as a designer and supplier of a range of 5000 listed products, including dried products (37%, including chocolate, dried fruit and decorating supplies), fresh produce (29%), frozen products (23%), and packaging and other non-food supplies (11%). The group has a member network of twenty-nine distributors and three logistics platforms (in Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Thiais and Millau). Operating across the whole of France and in 65 other countries (including Japan, Canada, Ireland, Asia and Latin America), the group generated sales of €154 million in 2013.
- Chairman: Bruno Rouxel
- Nature of the transaction: secondary LBO
- Date of the investment: August 2014
Six years after Qualium Investissement acquired its stake in the DGF group, Fonds 21 Centrale Partners becomes its new majority shareholder in July 2014. This secondary LBO is an opportunity for Capzanine to take part as arranger of the senior mezzanine, working alongside the management team led by Bruno Rouxel, DGF’s Chairman since 2013. This new transaction is an important step in the group’s development. Its plans are to strengthen its distribution network in France and step up its international expansion.
Exploitation of thermal baths, hotels and sales of mineral water
Created in the mid-nineteenth century to manage the concession of the state-owned thermal heritage in Vichy, the Compagnie de Vichy is one of the oldest French companies. For several years, the company has been specialised in the design and management of therapeutic spas for luxury hotels internationally. It is also active in the sale of mineral water (Vichy Célestins), the operation of thermal baths (23,000 people coming for cures per year) and hotels. In addition, it receives royalties from l’Oréal and Kraft Foods for the use of the water and the Vichy brand in the “Laboratoires Vichy” cosmetics and in the candy lozenges of Vichy.”
- Chairman: Jérôme Philipeau
- Nature of the transaction: Sponsorless
- Date of the investment: June 2014
In this “sponsorless” transaction, Capzanine is bringing in both mezzanine financing and capital, thereby facilitating an exit for the Fund Matignon Investissement. In the reorganisation, Jérôme Phelipeau, President and majority shareholder is reinforcing his equity position by reinvesting 100%.
Equipped with a solid and diversified business model, the group is embarking on a new phase with Capzanine, characterised in particular by the international development of its expertise.
Assistance and automobile insurance
Previously part of the RAC group (formerly the British Royal Automobile Club), the company’s name was changed to Opteven in 2011 and it is today recognised as a leading player in the Assistance and Mechanical Breakdown Warranties market in France. The Opteven group is based in Villeurbanne, employs more than 220 people.
- Chairman: Jean-Matthieu Biseau
- Nature of the transaction: MBO Bis
- Date of the investment: April 2014
The Finadvance Fund has held a majority stake in Opteven since 2010 alongside the management team and the Aviva Insurance group. Opteven has seen its turnover double in four years. Underpinned by a BtoB strategy based on long-lasting partnerships with its clients, who include insurers, automotive manufacturers, automotive dealers, credit companies and hire companies, Opteven has gradually made a name for itself on the French market through proven and reliable quality of service. Call centre availability and quick and clear decisions, combined with follow-up of customers, of their satisfaction and of any complaints are at the heart of the Opteven group’s operating strategy.
Capzanine, the new majority shareholder will rely on the current management team led by Jean Matthieu Biseau and on the partnership with Aviva to continue the group’s strong organic growth in its traditional business lines and to increase the pace of its already-initiated expansion into international markets as well as into non-automotive assistance segments. The management team is also considering targeted acquisitions as a further means of growing its geographic reach and penetrating new market segments.
IT solutions for the financial sector
Formerly owned by the American group Sungard, GP3 & AAM are two software publishers for back-, front- and middle-office solutions for investment funds and asset managers. GP3 is a software application for fund accounting, valuation and reporting. AAM (formerly called Decalog) is a compliance software application for use in the front and middle office. Based in France, these two entities are also present internationally in 16 countries (including Belgium, Germany, Italy, China, Brazil).
- Chairman: Serge Delpa
- Nature of the transaction: Carve-out/Bimbo
- Date of the investment: January 2014
In January 2014, Sungard sold these two non-strategic subsidiaries to the Blackfin Fund, which became the new majority shareholder. Capzanine took part in this takeover, acting as the arranger of a unitranche financing. The buyout of these two entities resulted in a new unit called NeoXam, established as a provider of European software applications, a leader in the asset management sector.
Backed by a solid management team and the support of these new financial partners, NeoXam plans to pursue a sustained development strategy, especially in its commitment to strong international expansion.
Last kilometre logistics
The Star’s Service group, which specialises in last-mile logistics, is currently the leading player in the home delivery of food products for major supermarkets (Monoprix, Carrefour etc.) and e-commerce retailers (Ooshop etc.) in France. Led by Hervé Street, who founded the group in 1987, Star’s Service has, since its beginnings, seen strong growth attributable to a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions. The group is active across the whole of France via its companies Biotrans (transport of medical products) and Toutadom (delivery of meal trays, catering food).
- CEO: Hervé Street
- Date of the first investment: may 2010
In 2010, Capzanine 2 arranged a sponsorless transaction as a leading minority shareholder, accompanied by Agregator Capital, Naxicap Partners and BNP Paribas Développement. The “one-stop shop” transaction combined investments in equity (€6 m) and mezzanine (€11 m). This transaction was executed with no bank leverage and enabled the company to pursue its growth plans.
Since its initial equity investment in Star’s Service, Capzanine has supported a high-quality management team very actively driving forward its development strategy. In 2011, the group disposed of CGVL, its subsidiary specialising in hiring industrial vehicles with drivers, marking an important step towards becoming a pure player in last-mile logistics. The group also continued to develop by diversifying its business activities with the acquisition of the French company “La Petite Reine”, which offers a green delivery service by Cargocycle, and more recently, by diversifying into automotive spare parts with the launch of the Automotive Service division.
Focusing firmly on continuation of this growth, in November 2013, the group implemented changes in the composition of its capital structure with the arrival of the Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners fund, which becomes the new minority shareholder alongside Socadif and BNP Paribas Développement. Capzanine 3 arranged the mezzanine financing on this transaction.
Industrial sealing product solutions
- Date of initial investment: December 2006
In July 2013, Eurazeo PME sold its majority shareholding to Bridgepoint, who thus joins the minority shareholders, Capzanine included, through its 3rd fund, who are all reinvestng in this new transaction.
Oil services company
SMP (Société de Maintenance Pétrolière) founded in 1998 by its present CEO, Bernard Raigneau, specialises in hiring drilling rigs and maintaining land based wells (oil, gas, geothermal energy). After firstly achieving success in oil well drilling in France, SMP expanded to Gabon in 2007.
With its leading position on the French market, a turnover that grew 37% between 2007 and 2008 and a first successful international expansion, SMP’s expertise is now recognized by the top oil companies.
- CEO: Bernard Raigneau
- Nature of the deal: MBO
- Date of the first investment: February 2009
The quality of SMP’s management, its reputation on the French market, its expertise as well as its development potential were all decisive factors in this MBO. Capzanine is thus involved in capital and in mezzanine alongside the management and MBO Partenaires and would like to provide SMP with the necessary financial backing for its development plans:
- increase its fleet of rigs,
- continue its diversification into non oil related activities (gas storage, geothermal energy).
Manufacture and marketing of printing machines for flexible packaging
DCM specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of printing machines for flexible packaging: plastic film, paper, board, metal and laminated composites. Its products sell to manufacturers of packaging for food and non-food consumer goods.
- Nature of the deal: LBO
- Date of initial investment: july 2006
Capzanine backed the majority LBO by the chief executive and senior managers of DCM, which is strongly positioned in a niche market.