HLD and Bpifrance have acquired a stake in Walter Learning, specialized in online training for professionals, in order to accelerate its development

Paris (France), 14th February 2022 – HLD and Bpifrance have acquired a stake in Walter Learning, specialized in online training for professionals, in order to accelerate its development.

Created in 2018 by Thomas Cornet, Hippolyte Le Dem, Alphonse Doutriaux and Joseph Réquillart, Walter Learning offers 100% digital training for professionals. The Group is historically positioned on the health professional market (nurses, general practitioners, masseurs-physiotherapists, etc.), and has been gradually diversifying its offer by targeting other kind of professionals.

In 2021, the Group has experienced an overall growth of more than 165%, which will keep accelerating in 2022 and in the forthcoming years, with the launch of new training courses.

HLD and Bpifrance become shareholders alongside with the management, supporting Walter Learning in its structuring and its development within a fast-growing market.

Thomas Cornet, CEO of Walter Learning: “We are delighted that HLD and Bpifrance has entered the Group’s capital as they will help us accelerate our development in a very fast-growing market. HLD has both significant financial resources to finance our organic development and external growth opportunities, and a recognized experience in supporting fast-growing companies.”

Cédric Boxberger, Partner at HLD: “We were appealed by the very high quality of Walter Learning’s management team, which has become the leader in the training market for health professionals in less than 3 years. The digital training market is still very atomized, and we have the ambition, with the management team, to create one of the leaders in its segment, both through organic and external growth.”

FDC’s team is delighted to have advised Walter Learning’s managing shareholders in this important milestone for the company’s growth. This is a new transaction in the fast-growing EdTech sector, which is highly valued by investment funds.

About Walter Learning
Walter Learning designs, produces and delivers online training for professionals. While it was initially positioned on the health professional market, Walter Learning now offers more than 40 training courses for professionals through the Walter Santé and Walter Learning brands. The company decided to differentiate itself by the quality of its service and its technology.

About HLD Group
Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 2010, HLD is a European investment fund with permanent capital. HLD aims at supporting management teams in turning their companies into leaders in their field. As such, HLD invests in high potential companies and provide them with human and financial resources to grow on the long run. With $2bn in capital, HLD supports 18 companies that employ 24,000 people and experience average annual growth of more than 10%.

About Bpifrance
Bpifrance is a public investment bank and a French organization specialized in financing and corporate development. More specifically, it aims at supporting small and medium-sized companies, mid-cap companies and innovative companies alongside with State and regional policies in order to help them become tomorrow’s leaders.


Following the sell-side process exclusively advised by Financière de Courcelles, Adeo Group (the parent company of Leroy Merlin) has sold its subsidiary LightOnline to Keria Group

Paris (France), February 8th, 2022,

Following the sell-side process exclusively advised by Financière de Courcelles, Adeo Group (the parent company of Leroy Merlin) has sold its subsidiary LightOnline to Keria Group.
Adeo Group and Leroy Merlin will continue to focus on the growth of the Housing Platform France and the implementation of a market-leading omnichannel model.
Founded in 2009, LightOnline is a Parisian start-up and a pure player in design. It has become one of the leading e-commerce websites and has established itself as THE reference for premium lighting in France. LightOnline has succeeded in combining digital technology and light through a differentiating and innovative customer experience that makes LightOnline much more than a digital marketplace.
LightOnline now offers more than 250 brands and 12,000 references from leading brands in design to new brands: Kartell, Foscarini, Maison Sarah Lavoine, Tom Dixon, Fermob, Martinelli Luce, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Artemide, Vitra …
The company has enjoyed an average annual growth of 30% for the last 4 years, thanks to its product strategy and its digital expertise. Leveraging on the reputation of its B2C e-commerce website, the partnership with Leroy Merlin stores (through 60 corners) which will remain beyond the sale, and the development of the B2B segment, LightOnline will continue its strong development in the forthcoming years, strengthened by its new shareholder, Keria Group.
Created in 1982, Keria Group is specialized in the lighting industry. In October 2020, the Group acquired 100% of the capital of the pure player “Luminaires-online” to reinforce its presence on this specific distribution channel. Through the acquisition of LightOnline, the Keria Group, owner of Keria and Laurie Lumière as well as Luminaires-online, is accelerating its omnichannel distribution strategy by also strengthening its position on the premium segment.

Marc Delozanne, Deputy CEO of Leroy Merlin France:

« The support of Financière de Courcelles was decisive to define the most relevant ownership for LightOnline. Throughout the process, Financière de Courcelles’ teams have shown a remarkable commitment to the transaction and the company’s interests».

Claire Lestoille, CEO of LightOnline:

« Joining Keria Group is a new step for LightOnline. It will allow us to develop our leadership in the lighting industry in France. We are delighted with this new partnership, which paves the way to great opportunities for the future. Financière de Courcelles’ team has quickly revealed itself as a high added-value and trusted advisor for all stakeholders ».

Sébastien Hours, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Keria Group:

« Not only does this acquisition allow us to offer a broader range of premium and designer lighting, but it also accelerates the growth of our digital market share, which will reach 25% by 2022. This transaction is in line with a clearly identified strategy based on two fundamentals: preserving the identity, the position and the industrial know-how of each brand and strengthening our digital strategy».

Emmanuel Ducrot & Guillaume Piette, Partner et Managing Partner at FDC respectively:

«We are delighted to have advised LightOnline’s shareholders during this key step in the history of the company. This new transaction in the digital sector demonstrates the expertise of Financière de Courcelles in sell-side mandates for corporates».

Stakeholders’ list:

Sell-side:
• Adeo Group: Marc Delozanne, Guillaume Vanoverschelde, Alexandre Grand Dewyse, Matthieu Bernat
• Legal advisor: Villey Girard Grolleaud (Frédéric Grillier, Alexandre Reignier)
• M&A advisor: Financière de Courcelles (Emmanuel Ducrot, Guillaume Piette, Antoine Mainini, Hamza Lahna, Quentin Levrey)

Buy-side:
• Keria Group: Sébastien Hours, Philippe Cailleux, Antoine Tassigny
• Financial advisor: Cairn Partners (Maxence Bousquet, Damien Mignot)
• Legal advisor: Bird & Bird (Lionel Berthelet, Marine Besson)
• Digital advisor: Orange Consulting (Marianne Bellamy, Eric Massaroni)


FDC advises ELVIA PCB's shareholders on the sale of the group to Tikehau Ace Capital

Paris (France), the 6th of January 2022,

Tikehau Ace Capital has entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition – subject to the completion of the conditions precedent – of ELVIA PCB group, French leader in the manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) for demanding industries and severe environments such as the aerospace and defense sectors. The unique and high grade PCB technologies developed by ELVIA include rigid, flex-rigid, multi-layer and hyper-frequency boards.

ELVIA PCB generated €60m revenues pre-covid and has a staff of over 450 employees in France through 5 production sites.

ELVIA PCB has been owned for close to 20 years by a pool of individual investors led by its CEO Bruno Cassin, that has over the years transformed the group by positioning it on the growing Aerospace & Defense markets and on PCB future applications. FDC advised Elvia PCB shareholders in this transaction that will allow the group to continue its development path with a well-established and recognized new shareholder.

This transaction is an example of FDC’s deep knowledge of the Electronics, High Tech, Space & Defense sectors, and its strong commitment to the ongoing process of consolidation of the subcontracting chain.


Digital Value, a pure player in digital strategy consulting, opens its capital to Ardian and Isatis Capital

Paris, France, 2 December 2021,

Financière de Courcelles advised the shareholders of Digital Value - Arnaud de Baynast (Founder & Chairman) and his management team - in the context of a minority opening of the company's capital to the funds Ardian and Isatis Capital.
Founded in 2008 in Paris by Arnaud de Baynast, Digital Value is one of the leaders in "data analytics for business", a new discipline at the crossroads of strategy consulting, data and technology.

Digital Value assists large companies in digitizing their core business, maximizing their operational efficiency, and launching new digital activities, thanks to a unique positioning combining:
- Leading expertise in data analytics & science.
- A solid track record in strategic marketing.
- In-depth knowledge of digital ecosystems in all regions of the world, especially in Asia.
- An approach to the business based on the development of technological building blocks for data collection and processing, which increase the effectiveness of traditional strategy consulting methods tenfold.

The relevance of this approach is confirmed by the relationships of trust developed by Digital Value with the thirty or so clients it has worked with, including Pernod Ricard, TotalEnergies, Engie and Macif, on complex business issues such as algorithmic pricing, customer clustering and the digitalisation of road-to-market. This confidence has driven the company's continuous growth since its creation. Digital Value is expected to pass the €10M mark in turnover very soon.

FDC advised Digital Value on the development of its technological know-how and the resilience of its model. The management of a dual-track process with strategic and financial partners enabled the company's shareholders to find the best partners.

List of stakeholders :

Transferor side :

• Company : Arnaud de Baynast, Alice Wu, Romain Bury, Paul-Henri Magnien, Abdellah Moutacall
• Legal advice: PGA (François Gine, Thibault Germain), Walter Garance (Isabelle Avril, Roxane Bouillon)
• Financial audit: Grant Thornton (Frederic Zeitoun)
•  Financial advisory: Financière de Courcelles (Matthieu de Baynast, Henri Mion, Antoine Mainini)

Buyer's side:
• Ardian : Geoffroy de la Grandière, Pierre Schaeffer
• Isatis Capital : François-Xavier Lehman, Thomas Lemaire
• Legal, tax and social advice: Levine Keszler (Nicolas de Courtivron), Arsene Taxand (Franck Chaminade)
• Financial audit: E&Y (Jean-Christophe Pernet, Soukaina Douazi)


FDC advised Sorégies Group in its investment in Ze Energy Series B funding round

Paris (France), 25 November 2021,

SORÉGIES Group is strengthening its strategic partnership with ZE ENERGY by becoming its cornerstone industrial shareholder.

Following the commissioning of the first hybrid solar power plant coupled with storage batteries in October 2020, and the signing of a 20-year Corporate Power Purchase Agreement for 150 GWh p.a., this new step will allow Sorégies to position subsidy-less, monitored and controlled solar energy at the very heart of energy transition.

ZE ENERGY has a portfolio of projects of over 300 MW in solar PV plants and 120 MW in storage capacity. It targets, through deployment in five countries, a total power plant capacity of 800 MW and an operating battery capacity of over 300 MW by 2025, for an expected turnover of €60m.

FDC advised the SORÉGIES Group on this transaction.


FDC continues to support TSG in its development plan with the acquisition of S2D in France

Paris (France), the 24th of November 2021,

S2D is a French-based company engaged in the design and installation of private fuel stations, mostly for industrial projects.

S2D operates in all part of France and works with experts in the supply, installation, and maintenance of technical fluid distribution equipment for professionals. The acquisition of S2D allows TSG France to strengthen its presence in the private fleet market and to position itself with industrial customers while expanding its product range to its existing customers to whom it will be able to offer the design, installation, and maintenance of lubricant dispensing equipment for their workshops and plants.

By joining TSG, a leader in France and Europe, S2D will benefit from TSG's network of agencies and technicians to expand its capabilities.

Financière de Courcelles is very proud to have advised TSG on both a cross-border transaction and a domestic one, that allow TSG to strengthen its footprint throughout Europe, thanks to its multi-buy-side advisory offer.

About TSG

TSG, the European leader in technical services for responsible mobility solution,  is a key enabler of the energy transition for mobility: with unequalled presence in 30 countries, TSG designs, builds and maintains all types of energy distribution infrastructures for mobility: electric vehicles charging network, GPL/LNG, hydrogen and also fuel / biofuel service stations. TSG offers a one-stop-shop (equipment sale, projects and maintenance services, digital payments and systems) for innovative energy and retail solutions. TSG serves all types of clients, in the public and private sectors from local authorities and retail to gas station networks and companies fleet installations. TSG has over 4,500 employees, and revenue by €700m in 2020. TSG’s technicians are uniquely skilled, with recognized expertise in all new mobility energy solutions: electric vehicles, hydrogen, biofuels and natural gas as well as related systems and payment services. TSG is a privately-held company, owned by its management and the entrepreneurial investment firm HLD.


FDC continues to support TSG in its development plan with the acquisition of Gasodata in Portugal

Paris (France), the 24th of November 2021,

Gasodata is a Portuguese leader in systems & payment solutions and services for energy distribution networks offering distribution, installation and maintenance services for gas stations and private customers.

In 2020, Gasodata generated about 8 million EUR turnover with 80 employees. With Gasodata acquisition, TSG is reinforcing its presence in Portugal and pursues its ambition to enable the responsible mobility transition by offering its customers the wider and unequalled geographic footprint in Europe. TSG is convinced that Portuguese market also offers great development opportunities in the field of new energies for mobility including electric vehicles, gas and hydrogen and is willing to actively participate to that energy transition.

Gasodata senior management team led by Mario Ferreira and Carlos Hipolitto, remains in place to drive the promising future of Gasodata and develop its activities.

 

About TSG

TSG, the European leader in technical services for responsible mobility solution,  is a key enabler of the energy transition for mobility: with unequalled presence in 30 countries, TSG designs, builds and maintains all types of energy distribution infrastructures for mobility: electric vehicles charging network, GPL/LNG, hydrogen and also fuel / biofuel service stations. TSG offers a one-stop-shop (equipment sale, projects and maintenance services, digital payments and systems) for innovative energy and retail solutions. TSG serves all types of clients, in the public and private sectors from local authorities and retail to gas station networks and companies fleet installations. TSG has over 4,500 employees, and revenue by €700m in 2020. TSG’s technicians are uniquely skilled, with recognized expertise in all new mobility energy solutions: electric vehicles, hydrogen, biofuels and natural gas as well as related systems and payment services. TSG is a privately-held company, owned by its management and the entrepreneurial investment firm HLD.


FDC advised Sorégies Group for the acquisition of a stake in Haulogy and the creation of a French joint venture

Paris (France), 18 November 2021,

HAULOGY, software publisher and operator of IT platforms for the energy sector based in Belgium, and SORÉGIES Group, an energy producer, active in distribution and supply of local renewable energies, announce a strategic partnership to jointly create a European leader in digital transformation for energy players and energy transition.

HAULOGY and SORÉGIES Group combine their expertise by offering innovative business platforms for the management of distribution networks, production and storage, flexibility services, supply coverage, energy supply, as well as for new models such as local energy loops. This flexible service offering, able to integrate into the customer ecosystem, facilitates the harmonization of market standards. It also optimizes data management and saves costs for operators.

At the conclusion of the equity investments in early 2022, HAULOGY and SORÉGIES Group will operate a French joint venture based in Poitiers (France). SORÉGIES Group will in parallel become the reference shareholder of HAULOGY. The French joint venture plans to create more than a hundred new jobs by 2025.

FDC advised the SORÉGIES Group on this transaction, the first for the Group in the digital field.


AD Education, the European leader in Creative Arts Education, announces the arrival of a new school within the group:IMAAT, l’Institut des Médias avancés, des Arts & des Technologies

Paris (France), November 9th, 2021,

Financière de Courcelles advised the founder of IMAAT, Institut des Médias avancés, des Arts et des Technologies, in the sale of the school to AD Education, the European leader in creative training.

AD Education is opening a new chapter of its development in France by diversifying its creative training offer with the acquisition of IMAAT, l’Institut des Médias avancés, des Arts et des Technologies, a school dedicated to audiovisual professions with locations in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse.

IMAAT was founded in 2015 by professionals from the audiovisual industry in order to guarantee, to students wishing to enter these professions, an educational program that is perfectly in line with the developments and changes in this sector, as well as successful in professional integration. The school offers BTS and Bachelor programs in Audio Production and Film Production.

"With AD Education, IMAAT joins with a group of schools of excellence and gives itself the human and material means to continue its development in the training offer in France for students in the very dynamic audiovisual sector. We are very happy to be part of the AD Education group", says Matthieu Boeche, Founder & CEO of IMAAT.

"We are delighted to welcome this new school which offers new fields of competences to students who are destined to evolve in the dynamic and creative audiovisual sector. The culture of excellence at the heart of the teaching, the high-tech equipment and the very strong relationships with the various private and institutional professional networks make IMAAT a reference that we are very happy to count among our establishments in France" announces Kevin Guenegan, President of AD Education.

The Education team at Financière de Courcelles is delighted to have supported IMAAT in this industrial operation, which confirms its leadership in the Education sector.


FDC advised the shareholders of Taramm and Gamma-Tial on their sale to WeAre Group

Paris (France), 9 November 2021,

WeAre Group, a major player in the market for small and medium sized complex elementary parts for the Aerospace industry, has acquired a majority stake in the companies Taramm and Gamma-Tial.

The two production sites, located in the French regions of Ariège and Indre-et-Loire and currently employing 90 people, will enable the WeAre Group to complete its range of technologies and to have a unique know-how in the lost wax titanium casting market.

Taramm and Gamma-Tial combine a total of 18,500sqm of production space and operate a complete and modern machine park, including melting furnaces from 18 to 40 kg. Thanks to this acquisition, the
WeAre group will also have its own HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing), a rare and strategic asset in view of the increase in the aeronautical production rates.

FDC advised the family shareholders of Taramm and Gamma-Tial on this transaction, which secures the aeronautical subcontracting chain in the strategic field of manufacturing titanium castings.

This transaction (the second in which FDC has advised the family shareholders of a company acquired by the WeAre Group after the sale of Bouy in 2017) is an example of FDC's deep knowledge of the Aerospace sector, and its strong commitment to the ongoing process of consolidation of the subcontracting chain.


FDC advised the shareholders of Immo City in a fundraising operation with Andera Partners

Paris (France), 09 november 2021,

FDC advised the shareholders of Immo City on a capital increase (between €10 and €20 million) with the smid-cap investment fund Andera Partners, which became a minority shareholder of the Group via its vehicle Andera Expansion 3.

Created in 1999 around the historic agency based on boulevard Voltaire in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, Immo City is today a property management group composed of 8 entities (and 9 agencies) located in Paris and its suburbs. In 22 years, the Group has built up a solid portfolio of condominiums and rental properties, thus positioning itself as a leader in the sector in the Paris area. With its 110 employees, Immo City records a turnover between €10 and 15 million, a portfolio of 24,000 condominium lots under management and nearly 800 property transactions and rentals each year.

Following a fundraising process led by FDC, the Group's shareholders have chosen Andera Partners as their financial partner. This summer, the smid-cap investment fund had already acquired an equity stake in the asset management firm Patrimmofi, as well as in Panhard Group in 2020, a property developer specializing in logistics real estate. This new financial partner will enable Immo City to pursue its external growth strategy in a market that is still very fragmented.

This transaction illustrates the ability of FDC to initiate transactions between the management of successful companies and relevant financial partners in order to help them build ambitious projects in terms of strategy and finance.

 

List of advisors:

Advisors to sellers:

  • Company: Immo City (David Giuly, Robin Soulier, Patrick Frigaux)
  • Legal: Jeausserand Audouard (David Lambert, Jean-Baptiste Afchain)
  • M&A: Financière de Courcelles (Matthieu de Baynast, Audrey Gennequin, Florian Jover, Yanis Alaoui)

Advisors to buyers:

  • Investment fund: Andera Partners (David Robin, Léopold Brichard, Victor Cabaud)
  • Legal: McDermott Will & Emery (Grégoire Andrieux , Antoine Ricol , Tess Souquet-Basiege , Côme de Saint-Vincent)
  • Social Due Diligence: Fidal (Lorraine Raimbert-Nusse)
  • Financial Due Diligence: Oderis (Julien Passerat, Paul Locatelli)
  • Strategic Due Diligence: CMI Stratégies (Nicolas Kandel, Simon Colboc, Nicola Virgata)

Groupe Atlantic, one of the European leaders in thermal comfort, acquires 70% of the capital of Thermic Energy

Paris (France), 25 October 2021,

Financière de Courcelles is once again advising Groupe Atlantic, a major European player in thermal comfort, on the acquisition of Thermic Energy, a German company specialising in hot water storage tanks.

Groupe Atlantic, a European leader in thermal comfort, acquires 70% of Thermic Energy

ounded in 2005 and based in Borna (Saxony), Germany, Thermic Energy develops and manufactures primary storage tanks and hot water tanks, which are sold mainly in Germany and throughout Europe. In line with its motto "innovative and renewable" aimed at decarbonising the building sector, Thermic Energy is increasingly integrating its solutions into heating and hot water systems using renewable energies (heat pumps, solar thermal, biomass...). Thermic Energy has experienced strong growth since its creation, reaching €25 million in turnover and more than 150 employees in 2021 thanks to the recognised quality of its products ("Made in Germany").

Originating from La Roche-sur-Yon in Vendée (France), the Atlantic Group is a large, innovative industrial company that has built its growth on a solid foundation of family values. A specialist in thermal comfort (boilers, water heaters, radiators, heat pumps, etc.), the Group has a vast portfolio of leading brands such as Atlantic, Ideal, Thermor, Sauter, etc. With more than 10,300 employees and 28 production sites worldwide, the Atlantic Group achieved a turnover of more than €2.2 billion in 2020.

International development, and in particular in the DACH region, is a priority of the Atlantic Group's strategy. The acquisition of Thermic Energy allows the Group to strengthen its industrial capacities in Germany in a fast growing segment. The founder-manager of Thermic Energy will remain a shareholder and Managing Director of the company.

Damien Carroz, M&A Director of the Atlantic Group: "Thermic Energy is a key player in an exciting and growing market. This acquisition provides our Group with additional industrial capacity, in a cost competitive environment, and significant market share. We look forward to the R&D, cost and supply chain synergies with our existing businesses, which have a similar growth trajectory".

Rafael Zeller, CEO of Thermic Energy: "The Atlantic Group's commercial presence and industrial skills will enable us to accelerate the development of Thermic Energy in Europe very quickly. Our current expansion project of several million euros is thus confirmed and even validated by our integration into the Atlantic Group".

This is the second acquisition advised by FDC in 2021 on behalf of Groupe Atlantic after the acquisition last July of Hautec, a heat pump specialist. This transaction illustrates FDC's know-how in advising large groups on cross-border transactions involving a number of players from different countries in a context of regulations specific to each country. With its expertise in Augmented M&A®, FDC is one of the only French investment banks capable of setting up tailor-made solutions (multi-country and multi-expertise) to support SMEs, ETIs and large companies in their growth, particularly internationally.