Sagard acquires Groupe Acceo from Gimv

On 27 February 2024, Sagard announces the acquisition from Gimv of Groupe Acceo, an independent French provider of engineering, inspection and certification services. Gimv will reinvest alongside them in this transaction.

Founded in 2003 near Marseille, Acceo has gradually expanded its offering to meet all the technical and regulatory needs of buildings. The Group has thus become a multi-service specialist covering 4 segments: Lifts, Health & Safety, Accessibility and Energy.

The Group provides a wide range of services to address building compliance, performance and sustainability issues across all these segments, including periodic and mandatory inspections, audits and technical assessments, asset management and monitoring solutions, compliance services and technical consultancy.

Acceo supports a highly fragmented and loyal customer base of more than 2,200 active customers, ranging from co-ownership associations to commercial building operators, local authorities and social housing.

In a market governed by constraints linked to the energy transition and growing concerns about health & safety, Acceo has built a differentiating and agile model in order to seize new regulatory opportunities. In particular, the Group benefits from close proximity to its customers, capitalising on its national network of branches and the digitalisation of its processes and services. Its unique, flexible model combines multi-specialist sales teams, capable of supporting customers in all their issues, with highly specialised technical teams in charge of carrying out assignments.

Since the acquisition by Gimv in 2016, the Group, which has posted solid organic growth, has also made 4 acquisitions that have enabled it to broaden its offering and geographical coverage, positioning Acceo as a consolidation platform in a fragmented market. With the appointment in 2021 of Jérôme Spencer as CEO, Acceo has continued the structuring of its organisation initiated in 2016 and has accelerated its development, particularly in the promising energy efficiency segment, bringing forecast sales for 2024 to over €50 million and the number of employees to 430 to date.

Following Sagard’s acquisition of Acceo, the Group’s management team (which will remain a key shareholder) will benefit from renewed all-encompassing support to pursue its further development, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Jérôme Spencer, CEO of Acceo, comments: „I am very proud of what I have achieved with the Acceo teams over the last few years. I would like to thank Gimv for the quality of their guidance and their unwavering support before and after my arrival, which have been crucial to the Group’s success. They have been extremely trustworthy partners who have made a real contribution, and this fruitful and lasting collaboration has been a real boost to our development. With the quality and motivation of our teams, I’m very confident about Acceo’s future, and I’m delighted to be continuing the adventure with Sagard to pursue our ambitious growth strategy.

Saïk Paugam, Partner, and Jérôme Triebel, Managing Director at Sagard, added: „We are delighted to join forces with Jérôme Spencer and his team to support Acceo in its next phase of growth, particularly in the development of energy transition services and external growth. With Gimv’s support, the management team has achieved a remarkable track record and created a high-performance company that addresses the critical needs of its customers, with a DNA combining a sense of service, agility and proximity. We are therefore particularly proud to have convinced Jérôme Spencer and his team of our ability to support them in accelerating the Group’s development.

Nicolas de Saint Laon, Head of Gimv France and Francois-Xavier Rico, Principal Sustainable Cities, conclude: „We are very pleased to have supported Jérôme Spencer and his team in an ambitious growth strategy, which has enabled Acceo to change dimension and transform itself from a niche specialist into a multi-service reference player. From the outset, we have supported the Group in expanding its offering, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on the development of synergies and recurring services. Thanks to a dynamic strategy of investing in its digital tools and structuring its organisation, Acceo has been able to establish itself as a frontrunner in the regulatory challenges of energy efficiency. These growth and transformation projects are perfectly in line with the investment themes we wish to develop within our Sustainable Cities platform. We are delighted that Sagard will support Acceo in the next stage of its development, and we look forward to continuing our involvement as a minority shareholder alongside them.

This transaction has a positive impact on Gimv’s net asset value at 30 September 2023 of approximately EUR 1 per share. No further financial details will be disclosed.

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