Equistone Partners Europe has entered exclusive talks about possibly selling Stella Group to ICG. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in France, the Stella Group is a provider of roller blinds, grilles and shutters, gates and sectional doors.
Equistone Partners Europe, majority shareholder in the Stella Group (La Toulousaine – Profalux – Eveno) since June 2010, has announced that it has entered exclusivity with ICG regarding a potential sale of the Group. Convinced by the resiliance of the Group and its prospects for development, ICG wishes to partner with its management and employees by submitting a pre-emptive bid. If successful, the transaction will enable the Stella Group (La Toulousaine – Profalux – Eveno) to reinforce its position as French leader in its current markets (roller blinds, grilles and shutters, gates and sectional doors) whilst also supporting the businesses future growth plans.
Since being established in 1956, the Stella Group has become one of the leading French players in the development and production of roller blinds, grilles and shutters, gates and sectional doors. The business has enjoyed sustained growth in terms of its turnover and financial performance due to a controlled organic growth strategy bolstered by several strategic acquisitions.
In 2007, the Group acquired Profalux to become one of the leaders in the field of roller blinds, in the private and renovation markets. This was followed by the buy-back of Eveno in 2012 which provided the Group with a footprint in the field of roller blinds and sectional doors for use mainly in the industrial joinery and manufacturing markets. Together these two operations significantly benefited the Group, expanding its geographical position, product range and client base.
In 2014, the Group had a turnover of almost 150 million euros and around 10,000 clients, primarily comprising independent installation engineers and business networks. La Toulousaine and Profalux focus mainly on the renovation segment, whereas Eveno operates primarily within the construction segment. The Group employs almost 650 employees across three production sites in Lorient, Thyez and Escalquens.
Combining an organic growth strategy with strategic acquisitions has helped create a multi-segment Group with strong brands and operational synergies
Since purchasing the business in June 2010, Equistone has supported the Stella Group in its organic growth strategy through developing its market presence in gates and adjustable sun breaks and bolstering this with the acquisition of Eveno in June 2012.
Equistone also worked with the management team on the organisation and governance of the Group in order to maintain the brand values and key differentiators of each of the individual entities whilst at the same time facilitating the exchange of good practice and driving operational synergies.
ICG was attracted by the Group’s growth profile and the ability to execute and successfully integrate its acquisitions. Convinced by both the quality and the motivation of the management team and by the business’s long term strategic plan, ICG wanted to support the management team in a new phase of development.
Pre-empting a future sale process, ICG submitted a takeover bid to the current shareholders of the Stella Group, allowing for a rapid share transition. On the basis of this bid, the parties have commenced exclusive discussions to finalise the terms of the bid and enable employee representative organisations to be consulted. If the sale goes ahead, it will remain subject to the approval of the French Competition Authority.
Commenting on the potential sale and Equistone’s five year partnership with Stella Group, Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe said: “The Stella Group has experienced strong growth in recent years, in a difficult economic context. We are happy to have been able to help the group to become an undisputed leader in its chosen markets, by supporting its strategy of industrial investment and external growth. In addition to the very high quality of Stella’s management team, the key success factors have been the strength of the business model combined with a constructive partnership between the management team and Equistone Partners Europe.”