Springwater Capital and Bpifrance launch joint venture Ecocis

Springwater Capital and Bpifrance have launched a joint venture Ecocis, which will re-industrialize a former paper-making site in France. Bpifrance will invest 15 million euros in Ecocis and own a 45 percent stake in the venture while Springwater Capital will invest 18 million euros and own the remaining majority stake.


Paris, 1 October 2015 – The investment firm Springwater Capital and the SPI “Société de Projets Industriels” (Industrial Projects Company) investment fund, funded by the Future Investments Programme and managed by Bpifrance, are coming together in a joint-venture, “Ecocis”, to reindustrialise the former paper-making site at Voreppe in Isère.

Ecocis, which will be majority owned by Springwater Capital, will own and operate the new site producing paper pulp from recycled paper. Ecocis chose to re-industrialise the site by changing its strategic foundations: to focus the site on its proven expertise – the manufacturing of paper pulp from recycled paper – to build on its speciality of recycling particularly degraded waste paper that was previously burned or buried, into pulp. It is through this essential refocusing on the production of paper pulp that Ecocis intends to stand out from its predecessors, by adopting a new business model, targeting a global market rather than a local one, and by diversifying its target customers into promising segments such as, notably, hygiene, office paper and cardboard, and no longer just on the more challenging and specialised newspaper and magazine papers markets.

For both the supply of the waste paper and the marketing of the pulp, Ecocis has chosen to partner with leading global players, by outsourcing these tasks to specialists, while ensuring control over the generated costs and the quality of service.

The company will have €24.5 million at its disposal which will allow it to finalise the purchase of industrial assets and a dryer, and to commission the unit that will as of then be open to a global and generalist market.

Eventually, the partners may, depending on the needs of the plant, mobilise a total amount of €33 million.

Bpifrance will thus invest €15 million in the company and will own 45% of its capital.

This investment by the SPI fund is fully in line with its investment logic by supporting the creation of a new industrial activity on a site whose fundamentals have been preserved, notably thanks to the action of the Communauté d’Agglomérations du Pays Voironnais (Voiron Agglomeration Community) which, after its closure by the previous owner, has preserved this industrial heritage.

In addition, this project is an outstanding example of circular and environmental economy, particularly socially and environmentally virtuous, with the desire to create medium-term ancillary activities and the potential to create 70 direct jobs (excluding ancillary activities to be created).

For Springwater Capital, this first step on French territory marks its ambition in France and fits perfectly into its investment strategy of addressing “special” or complex investment situations. France is becoming an important part of its strategy in Europe, where Springwater Capital is already present through investments in Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal, with stakes in companies generating total revenues of about €2.5 billion and with more than 12,000 employees.

For Martin Gruschka, the founder and Chairman of Springwater Capital, “We are pleased to have been able to count on the support and collaboration of the SPI fund team on this project that is ambitious and structuring both for the French industry and the circular economy. We are convinced that the combination of our respective strengths will give new life to the Voreppe site and sustain a high-quality industrial activity of importance for the regional economic area”.

For Magali Joessel, the Director of the SPI fund for Bpifrance, “From its inception, the SPI fund has worked on this project with the Springwater Capital teams to support them in achieving their first investment in France.

This operation will allow this robust site to regain an industrial activity after some difficult experiences.

Furthermore, refocusing activity on pulp production will allow access to a more promising and more diverse global market. This promising outlook is made possible by a strategic repositioning of the activity on pulp production and a new financial model. We look forward to creating new industrial jobs”.

About Springwater Capital:
Springwater Capital is an independent investment firm that was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to investing in special situations in Europe, thanks to strong operational involvement and a tailored approach to every opportunity.
Based in Geneva, Madrid, Paris and Luxembourg, the Springwater Capital team has over 25 investors and invests in several asset classes (Private Equity, renewable energy, credit).

The current portfolio of Springwater Capital includes 25 companies representing more than €2.5 billion in revenue in sectors such as industry, engineering, tourism, logistics, retail and Business Process Outsourcing/digital printing.

For more information: http://www.springwatercapital.org

About the SPI Industrial Projects Company fund:
This fund, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the State, as part of the Future Investments Programme, aims to enable industrial projects with the best prospects for business and employment in industrial sectors to find support for their development.
It intervenes as a prudent equity investor in project companies with industrialisation projects selected for their growth potential, the current position of the industry and their contribution to environmental and energy transition.
It thus constitutes one of the financial levers of the New Industrial France.

About Bpifrance
Bpifrance, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts and the French State and a trusted partner of entrepreneurs, supports companies, from start up through to stock exchange listing, with credit, collateral and equity financing. Bpifrance provides, furthermore, support services and enhanced support for innovation, external growth and export, in partnership with Business France and Coface.

Bpifrance offers companies a continuum of financing for each key stage of their development and an offer adapted to regional specificities.

Bolstered by 42 regional offices (90% of decisions taken in the regions), Bpifrance is an economic competitiveness tool for entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts in support of public policies pursued by the State and by the Regions to meet three objectives:
• supporting the growth of businesses;
• preparing for future competitiveness;
• contributing to the development of a favourable ecosystem for entrepreneurship.

With Bpifrance, companies benefit from a powerful, close and efficient contact, to meet all their financial, innovation and investment needs.
For more information: www.bpifrance.fr – http://investissementsdavenir.bpifrance.fr/ –