Newsletter Spring 2021
In this issue
Editorial - The choice of Responsible Growth
In 2011, Porter and Kramer proposed a paradigm shift regarding Social and Environmental Responsibility: With the introduction of the concept of Shared Value Creation, CSR could be considered not as an artificial constraint disconnected from the company’s growth and profitability objectives, but as a factor of competitiveness, with the company relying on its resources and skills to create economic value as well as social and environmental value.
Ten years later, sustainability has become a key element of differentiation and success for companies in their interactions with all stakeholders: customers, suppliers, employees, the State and… shareholders. Whether it is to sell products or services, to attract and retain talent, or to attract capital, the commitment to a responsible approach is becoming essential and is perceived as a vehicle for progress: isn’t the opposite of sustainability obsolescence?
Like the digital revolution that began 20 years ago, the principle of responsible growth represents a radical transformation whose spread throughout the entire economy is accelerating. New opportunities will certainly arise from this, but many companies – large and small – will also have to face profound changes that question their business model and their sustainability. In order to better support its portfolio companies in this transformation process, Sparring Capital has decided to create a “Sustainability Manager” role, and to entrust it to a specialist in the implementation of CSR policies, in charge of intervening alongside the front office investors. This newsletter is an opportunity to get to know him and the new Sparring Capital recruits. It also discusses the concept of Lean Durable® (Sustainable Lean), created and supported by Pop, the latest investment of the SC Fund 2. Pop or the demonstration that the quest for operational excellence can only produce sustainable results if it puts people at the heart of the process. May this approach have a bright future ahead of it…
The Sparring Capital Team
Acquisition of POP
Last May, Sparring Capital acquired a majority stake in the POP group alongside the founders and management team.
Founded in 2006 by Eric Desgages and Frédéric Stoll, POP is specialised in Lean Management consulting and training, and helps its clients to achieve sustainable improvements in their operational performance. Based in Nantes, the group has a strong regional presence in western France, working with major accounts and SMEs in both the industrial and service sectors.
QUALIOPI-certified, POP has been building its training offer since 2011, responding to a growing demand from its clients seeking operational improvement of their processes. With this business line, POP has built a deeply differentiating offering and a virtuous business model, fuelling a cross-selling strategy somewhere between training and consulting.
In an operational excellence market that is in the process of consolidation, the group intends to deploy an active external growth strategy, bringing together specialists in lean management, the supply chain, design to cost and other expertise dedicated to the operational improvement of companies.
As part of the operation, Eric Desgages and Frédéric Stoll will focus on the implementation of the build-up strategy. They will hand over the operational management of POP to a management committee led by Lorette Buys, the new managing director.
IMX invests in Shopiles
IMX has acquired Shopiles, a specialist in overseas delivery.
Created in 2012, the shopiles.fr website offers a parcel forwarding solution dedicated to the French overseas territories, thus addressing a problem often encountered on e-commerce websites that only deliver to metropolitan France. With its large affinity community in the French Overseas Territories, Shopiles has understood all the problems of insularity and those of e-commerce sites selling to these territories.
Already present in this business through its ColisExpat platform, IMX wanted to accelerate its growth and strengthen its presence in the French overseas territories through this merger, pooling Shopiles’ knowledge of the overseas market with IMX’s expertise in shipping and logistics solutions.
Infraneo is growing
Infraneo (ex-GSRI) has completed two external growth operations in the first months of 2021 with the acquisition of Esiris Group and Martin GmbH. Infraneo thus strengthens its leading position in France and accelerates its European development.Infraneo, an engineering group specialising in infrastructure management, has acquired the Esiris group, a key player in soil engineering, and Martin GmbH, a German engineering office dedicated to corrosion protection systems for pipelines. The acquisition of Esiris is the second external growth transaction since Sparring took a stake in Infraneo in 2018. Esiris is a group specialised in soil engineering, laboratory testing and structural engineering services. With a network of 10 agencies, Esiris allows the Infraneo group to extend its national coverage and complete the range of services to support its clients in all stages of maintenance and monitoring of their structures throughout their life cycle. Founded in 1970, Martin GmbH offers inspection and supervision services to public energy and water management institutions as well as to industrial and petrochemical companies. The company has recognised technical skills in Germany and Europe and brings essential expertise to the Infraneo Group in the energy sector.
Justine Roze (Associate):
Justine joined SparringCapital after three years of experience in Strategy Consulting at L.E.K. Consulting, and experiences in M&A at Société Générale and in Corporate Finance at the SMCP Group. Justine is a graduate of the ESCP Grande Ecole programme.
Tancrède Colas (Senior Associate):
Tancrède joined Sparring Capital after working for 6 years in Mid Cap Mergers & Acquisitions at Rothschild & Co, during which time he participated in numerous transactions for large French groups and investment funds in various sectors (engineering, e-commerce, healthcare, business services, etc.) Tancrède is a graduate of EDHEC.
Nathanaël Westphal becomes “Sustainability Manager”, a newly created position within the SparringCapital team. This new position is part of an approach aimed at enabling the companies supported by SparringCapital to take full advantage of ESG transformation issues in their development and the strengthening of their differentiation factors. Through his company NSW Conseil, Nathanaël has provided CSR and Sustainable Development consulting services to companies of all sizes (start-ups, SMEs and intermediate-sized companies) and in all sectors of activity (packaging, information technology, industry, etc.) in the creation of strategies and the formalisation of CSR/ESG approaches, the deployment of action plans and the implementation of monitoring indicators. Nathanaël also teaches in the M2 programme at ESAM on CSR/Energy/climate issues. He is a graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques in Aix-en-Provence and the IGS group’s MBA programme.