Perceva, a French turnaround investor, has acquired Monceau Fleurs Group.
The firm has invested €11 million but has also taken over some of the groups’ bonds at a substantial discount, Jean-Louis Grevet, managing partner at Perceva, told Private Equity International.
“Therefore from an accounting standpoint the increase in capital is €26 million,” he said. The investment has taken the company’s consolidated equity capital up to approximately €20 million after current year losses. As a result of the transaction, the company’s net debt stands now at €13 million, a two-third reduction, according to a statement.
Monceau Fleurs Group, which was founded in 1965, is a French florist that operates through three further franchise networks, including Monceau, Happy and Rapid’ Flore. It has approximately 450 boutiques. Perceva said it would support the Monceau Fleurs Group to streamline and develop its network of franchisees to strengthen its leadership in the flower and plant distribution space.
“It’s a nice asset because the brand is very powerful in France,” Grevet said, calling the French florist market “very interesting”. “Approximately 60 percent of the French flower market is in the hands of small independent boutiques and [there are a lot of consolidation opportunities there]. We are planning to expand the number of boutiques to about 1,000 over the next five to 10 years,” he added.
Perceva was set up in 2007 and is led by Jean-Louis Grevet, a former partner at rival Parisian turnaround firm Butler Capital Partners. It is currently investing its maiden fund, a €150 million 2010-vintage which targets special situations in the French mid-market and closed in January 2011.
The investment in Monceau Fleurs Group is Perceva’s seventh acquisition from this vehicle. It has also invested in luxury food caterer Dalloyau, Shark, a French business that produces motorcycle helmets and Mariteam, a French distributer of fish trade and seafood. Further investments include Supra, which is a subsidiary of EDF, a manufacturer and designer of domestic wood-fired heating products; BPI, an HR consulting business; and trailer manufacture Behm International.
Following the acquisition in Monceau Fleurs Group, Perceva’s debut fund is approximately 80 percent deployed. The fund is likely to do one or two more investments, but Perceva has no plans yet to return to the fundraising market. “It might be next year, it might be the year after, it’s too early to say,” Grevet added.