Vulcain, the engineering group which specializes in energy transition and life sciences, and employs more than 3,500 people, has announced the exit of its shareholders Equistone Partners Europe and Sagard with a new LBO.
Accompanied by more than 350 employee shareholders, Co-CEOs of Vulcain Frédéric Grard and Alban Guilloteau have strengthened their positions in the group’s capital and governance structures. With the help of their long-standing advisor, D&A Corporate Finance, the founding managers steered a limited process that brought together a consortium of leading investors to support the group’s exponential growth.
Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, coordinates the consortium with Tikehau Capital, a world-leading private equity player in decarbonization and EMZ, a specialist in supporting founding managers.
Bpifrance, Amundi Private Equity Funds and the Fonds France Nucléaire managed by Siparex complete the financing round by providing specific expertise.
A pool of banks made up of leading players is financing the deal through senior debt, supplemented by mezzanine financing provided by Eurazeo Private Debt, the group’s long-standing partner.
With this transaction, the Group will have access to substantial and diversified financial resources, as well as French institutional shareholders committed to an entrepreneurial approach.
With the support of Equistone and Sagard, Vulcain has expanded rapidly over the past four years, growing from sales of €160m in 2019 to €370m by 2023. The realisation of current external growth opportunities should enable the company to cross the €450m threshold in 2024.
Its positioning as a multi-specialist engineering expert in critical infrastructures allows Vulcain to take advantage of mega-trends linked to the energy transition, with expertise in nuclear power, renewable energies, gas, hydrogen, energy transmission and distribution networks, and railways. The Group’s market opportunity is further bolstered by sovereignty issues in the pharmaceutical industry.
Vulcain’s track record of external growth, with 27 acquisitions made since 2019, has enabled it to strengthen its relationship with its major customers, and to expand its range of high added-value services, as well as its geographical presence.
It now generates more than 35% of its business abroad, particularly in the UK, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, as well as in North and Latin America.
The Group’s ambition is to continue to expand internationally and deepen its offering in terms of digitising engineering processes and making the most of data relating to facilities and infrastructures, notably through acquisitions.
The ambition of the joint CEOs Alban Guilloteau and Frédéric Grard is to continue to develop their company in line with the convictions and values that drive them. The quality of Vulcain’s workforce and the underlying markets open up the prospect of achieving sales of €1 billion under the next strategic plan.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to the usual pre closing conditions for this type of transaction, and in particular to obtain the required regulatory authorizations.
“After a decade of working together, we are delighted to have succeeded in building a multicultural management team within Vulcain and in involving more than 350 employees in our entrepreneurial and shareholder adventure. The consortium of leading investors that we are announcing today is the result of the work carried out by all the group’s employees over the last few years, which has enabled Vulcain to become a leading European player in the energy transition.”Alban Guilloteau & Frédéric Grard, CO-CEO’s, Vulcain