Positive economic indicators and ongoing internal reforms have led to an exceptional rise in mid-market M&A activity levels in France in H1 2019, with the most notable reform being ‘PACTE’, the ‘Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation’. Passed in March 2019 by the Nationale Assembly, the law sets out to liberate companies by simplifying business creation, easing obligations concerning workforce thresholds and facilitating access to diversified funding.
It comes at the same time as the European Commission’s decision to block the Siemens / Alstom tie-up and the resulting call for reforms to EU competition law and European industrial policy, which is a prime example of the intensifying protectionism across Europe.
In terms of sectors, France’s mid-market has seen strong buyout volumes in the Industrial Products & Services space. For example, the construction and airport sectors have seen significant investor interest on the back of a strong appetite for infrastructure-like assets, favourable changes in regulations, as well as technological progress.
With investors focus increasingly shifting away from the UK and towards mainland Europe, private equity investments in France are expected to reach a record buyout volume in 2019, fuelled by an uptake in Public-to-Private transactions and record levels of dry powder.
The key transactions that took place during the period include:
Consumer, Leisure & Retail
- LBO France acquired Eurotab Tabletting, the producer of detergent tablets, disinfection/ bleach tablets and moisture-absorbing tablets, from Eurotab Group, for an undisclosed consideration
- Ergon Capital acquired Haudecoeur, the producer and distributor of rice, dried legumious vegetables, cereals, dried fruits, spices and Oriental products, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Ergon Capital on the financing for the acquisition of Haudecoeur, discover more >
- Verdoso Investments acquired the infusion business of Macopharma, the manufacturer of infusion, transfusion and biotherapy systems, for an undisclosed consideration
Industrial Products & Services
- Equistone Partners acquired Sateco, the company that designs, manufactures, and markets equipment for concrete forming and building site safety applications, from a group of vendors including Arkea Capital, BNP Paribas Developpement, Bpifrance and Naxicap Partners, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Sateco on its sale to Equistone Partners
- Initiative & Finance and Turenne Capital Partenaires acquired Nord Coffrage, the construction site equipment sale and rental specialist, from Ciclad, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Ciclad on the sale of Nord Coffrage to Initiative & Finance and Turrenne Capital Partenaires
- Towerbrook Capital sold GSE, the leading multi-specialist EPC contractor which designs and builds non-residential real estate projects, to Goldbeck, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Towerbrook Capital on the disposal of GSE to Goldbeck, discover more >
- Equistone Partners acquired Vulcain Ingenierie, the engineering firm providing global consultancy services in the energy and environmental sectors, from NiXEN Partners and Initiative & Finance, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Vulcain Ingenierie on its sale to Equistone Partners
- IK Investment Partners acquired Recocash, the debt servicing company addressing both B2B and B2C debt claims, from Verdoso Investments, for an undisclosed consideration
- Parquest Capital acquired ADIT, the business intelligence and security consultancy, from Weinberg Capital Partners and Bpifrance, for a minimum estimated EV of €130m
- Activa Capital and Turenne Capital Partenaires acquired Medisys, the publisher of medical software for home care providers and nursing homes, for an estimated consideration of €50m
France deals by sector