Siparex Backs Malherbe

Siparex has announced the equity restructuring of Malherbe group, a French five lot and consolidated shipment company. The company’s management, headed by chairman Alain Samson, will be the majority owner, alongside a new group of financial investors comprising Siparex, CDC Entreprises (investing under the FSI France Investissement program), UNEXO, Socadif, and NCI. The fund Siparex MidMarket III is making its debut investment on this deal, in which NiXEN Partners is selling its stake.


Siparex is announcing the equity restructuring of Malherbe group, one of France’s top five lot and consolidated shipment companies. The company’s management, headed by chairman Alain Samson, will be the majority owner, alongside a new group of financial investors comprising Siparex (lead manager), CDC Entreprises (investing under the FSI France Investissement program), UNEXO, Socadif, and NCI. The fund Siparex MidMarket III, which Siparex raised in 2012 (€115 million to date), is making its debut investment on this deal, in which NiXEN Partners is selling its stake.
Malherbe, founded in 1963 and based in Rots (Calvados), accelerated its growth after Mr. Samson acquired the company, then with €60 million in sales, in 2001. He has steadily developed the highly organized freight business management model between regional lines and affreightment, which now accounts for half of the group’s business. Malherbe is thus positioned to serve major accounts, particularly in the agrifood industry, offering them nationwide and cross-border flow organization. The group has prepared an ambitious expansion plan to extend its geographic coverage and bolster its affreightment business. Over the past five years, it has made some ten acquisitions, including the 2011 purchase of five local players (Le Gal Transports, Leroloc, Lerosey, Transports Vincent, Grosdidier).
With nearly 1,300 employees, 750 motor vehicles in service, and 21 offices, Malherbe had sales of nearly €200 million in 2012.
At the same time as the investment syndicate was organized, a facility was arranged to enable Malherbe group, with the active support of its new investors, to pursue targeted acquisitions aimed mainly at extending its geographic coverage in France and abroad.
Alain Samson, Chairman of Groupe Malherbe, said, “I am very pleased by this cooperation with Siparex, whose knowledge of our business and understanding of our growth potential are advantages.
As lead manager, Siparex was quickly able to create a high-quality syndicate with CDC Entreprises, UNEXO, Socadif, and NCI. This transaction features even greater involvement of my management team, which is very motivated by our business goals, and it is part of Malherbe’s clear strategy of continued growth based on solid management fundamentals and an assertive policy of making selective acquisitions to boost the pace of our expansion”.
Bertrand Rambaud, Chairman of Siparex Group, and Pierre Bordeaux-Montrieux, Managing Director, said, “We were won over by the quality and experience of the group’s management, and especially by the vitality inspired by majority owner Alain Samson and his team on this deal. Our experience of investing in freight industry leaders enabled us to apprehend the pertinence of Malherbe group’s management and growth model. This deal, which brings together other financial partners that work closely with Siparex Group, should also enable the company’s management to pursue its acquisition strategy. An initial acquisition may be finalized in the weeks ahead.
Participants Investors:
Malherbe Management: Alain Samson, Noel Sanson, Denis Bertin, Didier Hays, Marie-Catherine Guyon Siparex: Bertrand Rambaud, Pierre Bordeaux Montrieux, Augustin de Jerphanion, Marie Clothilde Vial CDC Entreprises: Isabelle Ginestet, Francis Estellat, Ronan Lefort
Socadif: Bernard Garnier, Luis Baptista UNEXO: Stéphane Kerlo NCI: Anne-Cécile Guitton
Advisers to the Buyers
Pricewaterhousecoopers (financial audit): Karine Olivier, Xavier Klein Landwell (tax, corporate, and legal audits): Louis Bravard, Cédric Sapède, Matthieu Courtadon Landwell (legal advisory): Cédric Sapède AyacheSalama (legal counsel to CDC Entreprises): David Ayache
Sellers NiXEN Partners: Jean-Paul Bernardini, Vincent Houlot, Anne-Laure Mougenot
Advisers to the Sellers UBSCorporateAdvisory Group (M&A): Jérôme Pin, Nicolas Henry, Julien Donarier
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei (legal counsel): Guillaume Touttee, Alexandre Lecomte, Alexandre Wibaux
Eight Advisory (financial VDD): Stéphane Vanbergue, Christophe Puissegur Racine (corporate and freight VDD): Frédéric Broud, Marie Vernhes, Evguenia Dereviankine
BNP Paribas (agent) Arkea Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels Banque CIC Nord Ouest Banque Palatine Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance Normandie Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Normandie Crédit Lyonnais
Press Contacts:________________________________________
Siparex: Valérie Marin (04-7283-2323, CDC Entreprises: Nathalie Police (01-5850-7302, UNEXO: Pauline Le Grill (02-9967-9908, SOCADIF: Luis Baptista (01-4473-2927, NCI: Laura Chevalier (02-3218-6302,
Jean-Philippe Mocci (01-7116-1913, 06-7191-1883, Alexis Valero (01-7116-2058, 06-6727-6012,
Alain Samson: (02-3171-3013,
About Siparex
Siparex Group, founded 35 years ago, is France’s leading independent private equity specialist serving SMEs. It has over €1 billion in assets under management, divided between middle-market growth capital/LBO financing, on the one hand, and regional growth capital/innovation financing for technology, innovation, and regional companies, on the other hand. It also provides advisory services in emerging markets.
Siparex covers all of France from its offices in Paris, Lyon, Besançon, Lille, Nantes, and Strasbourg, and it also has a presence in Madrid and Milan. For more information:
About CDC Entreprises
CDC Entreprises, a management company authorized by France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF), is controlled by Caisse des Dépôts. It is in charge of managing the “FSI France Investissement” public equity investment program for growth SMEs, and also handles general interest assignments for the Caisse des Dépôts group in the field of equity investments in SMEs. In this capacity, CDC Entreprises manages the investments made by Caisse des Dépôts and FSI. It also raises funds for investment from public- and private-sector financial and industrial investors. On behalf of the French government, CDC Entreprises manages the following funds: Fonds National d’Amorçage, the SME branch of Fonds national pour la Société Numérique, and Fonds Ecotechnologies, as part of the Investing for the Future (PIA) program.
CDC Entreprises makes direct and indirect minority equity investments ranging from technological seed capital to small-scale buyouts at both regional and national levels. Its purpose is to promote the creation of middle- and upper-middle-market growth companies by strengthening their shareholders’ equity and helping them grow. At year-end 2011 CDC Entreprises had 3,000 investee companies in the portfolios of the 257 nationwide and regional funds it manages or finances. One out of every two SMEs in France receives direct or indirect equity financing from CDC Entreprises.
UNEXO is the private equity subsidiary of nine regional banks of the Crédit Agricole network in western France. UNEXO operates primarily in Brittany, Normandy, the Loire country, and Poitou- Charentes. It holds exclusively minority stakes in 85 SMEs with more than €5 million in sales. Its head office is in Rennes, and it has regional offices in Nantes, Caen, and Rouen.
Socadif is a private equity investment company founded by Crédit Agricole d’Ile de France in 1990. With more than 180 investments to date, and some forty currently in the portfolio, Socadif is a minority shareholder accompanying SMEs and their management for the long term. Socadif currently has a team of four investment professionals.
About NCI
NCI covers all aspects of regional private equity investment (start-ups, growth capital, minority and majority LBO financing) through a number of investment funds with a combined portfolio of more than 95 investments totaling over €110 million. NCI primarily serves companies based in Normandy and the western Paris metropolitan area.