N°167 – August 2021

Financière de Courcelles opened last year a new page of an already old story of almost a century. Under the leadership of man Matthieu de Baynast, the boutique specializing in mergers and acquisitions small and smidcap is now placed under the sign of “augmented M&A”


Matthieu de Baynast is a fan of the splits. After twelve years as international director, then CEO of the Atalian business services group, a French giant with a turnover of 3 billion euros and more than 130,000 employees, he left in 2019 to buy a boutique. M&A of 25 people, Financière de Courcelles (FdC). A big gap again when one of his first decisions at the head of this “old lady” founded in 1928 was to open offices in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, a priori at odds with the markets familiar to French SMEs and mid-cap companies. which constitute its goodwill. They complement the influence that the investment bank already had outside French borders through the GMAP network (Global M&A Partners) of which it was a founding member in 1999 and which brings together 450 mergers and acquisitions professionals across the world.

While consolidating its international positions, Financière de Courcelles has forged two partnerships with regional structures in France. The first was signed with the Nîmes company Fintouch and made public last February. The idea is for this firm to introduce FdC teams to local entrepreneurs and for them to benefit from its entire toolbox, especially internationally. The second partnership was unveiled on July 1: Financière de Courcelles and Exco Finance, a network of 120 expert firms accountants present in France and abroad, have decided to pool their forces; Exco relies on the expertise of its partner to structure its own small-cap M&A advisory activity and Financière de Courcelles relies on the contacts that its ally has created through its regional network. “We will provide Exco with technical tools and our international network complementary to its own, which it will use to carry out the less complex corporate finance operations on behalf of its clients. When the subjects become more difficult, for example involving Parisian funds or cross-border deals, we will take over. With this partnership and the one we have set up with Fintouch, we have achieved satisfactory coverage of the territory without having to open regional offices “, explains Matthieu de Baynast.
To this dual perspective, both local and international, he adds another, operational and financial, which completes his ambition for Financière de Courcelles, summed up in one formula: “augmented M&A”. “We must be able to support our clients beyond the single transaction or operation on their capital. This is why we have built around us an ecosystem of very operational partners in the fields of transition management with Valtus, digital transformation or consulting. in strategy with Mawenzi ”, he theorizes.

The banker Guillaume Piette, who joined the adventure last year after seven years at goetzpartners, adds: “When we go ‘pitching’ in front of new clients, we are often two partners, one with a background. operational and the other for M&A expertise. Thus, a discussion that is both operational and transactional can lead to the association of a mandate to sell a company with an additional transformation mission, digitization for example, to better promote the company. We will be able to carry out this transformation mission directly or through our ecosystem. ” Clients of Financière de Courcelles will be able to rely in particular on its recognized sector expertise in education, business services and aerospace, among others. On this basis, “our core target is the primary midcap LBO where we support the company,” summarizes Guillaume Piette. In terms of valuation, we position on cases of 20 to 400 million euros, with an exception when we support companies in international build-up strategies. In many sectors, this consolidation is largely launched by shareholder funds who see us as credible partners to help their investments in this area. We are also approached by funds to consider industrial exits by taking advantage of the contacts offered by our senior advisors and our international network. By forging privileged links with them, we are giving ourselves the possibility of going towards secondary, tertiary LBOs, etc. “ n E.L.L

À gauche : MATTHIEU DE BAYNAST (Montpellier Business
School, université du Havre) est depuis mai 2020 l’actionnaire majoritaire
et le PDG de Financière de Courcelles. Il était auparavant le CEO du groupe
A droite : GUILLAUME PIETTE (CFA) est managing partner chez Financière
de Courcelles depuis juillet 2020. Il l’a rejoint en provenance de chez
goetzpartners après des passages chez GCA Altium et DC Advisory