Clearwater International advises Vespa Capital on the sale of SDS Group to Industries et Finances Partenaires

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Clearwater International has advised Vespa Capital on the sale to Industries et Finances Partenaires of SDS Group the leading B2B distributor of spare parts and accessories for home appliances in France, covering four different ranges (white, brown, grey and accessories), founded in 1975 and located near Bordeaux (France).

SDS benefits from strong historical relationships with the after-sales departments of independent and branded stores (e.g. Connexion, Expert, Gitem, etc.). SDS has been consistently taking market shares from competitors with national brands (e.g. Conforama, Darty, etc.) as well as technical platforms.

The Group offers more than 2.3 million lines and operates through its 6,100 sqm national distribution center. SDS dispatches over 2,500 parcels per day (i.e. 500,000 per year).

In 2015 and 2016, the Group duplicated its business model to two new business lines: spare parts logistics services for third parties via SDS Logistique and the distribution of spare parts for housing (awning and blinds) via S Habitat.

SDS generated €40m of revenues in 2016 and relies on 101 employees including 32 sales representatives who cover 100% of its domestic market as well as French-speaking Belgium.

Industries et Finances Partneraires will ensure the continuity of SDS’ operations by maintaining the management in its current state. M. Philippe Respinger (President) and Nicolas Legras (CFO), currently SDS shareholders, remain in their posts and will reinvest a share of their divestment proceeds.

The Clearwater International team, composed of Benjamin Zayat, Director, and Meryem Idrissi-Kaitouni, Senior Analyst, advised Vespa Capital on this transaction.

Denis Leroy and Jean-Valmy Nicolas, Co-founders, Vespa Capital commented: Vespa Capital has played to the fullest its role as majority shareholder beside SDS by accompanying the Group in its long term transformation. We would like to thank Philippe Respinger and Nicolas Legras for their involvement in the success of this first LBO and we are confident that this new transaction will allow SDS to step forward. SDS is an example of Vespa Capital’s strategy: long term accompaniment and assistance in structuring SMEs so as to create national leaders by strongly implicating the management in the success of their projects.

Benjamin Zayat, Director, Clearwater International added: Under the auspices of Vespa Capital, the Group, who originally worked exclusively with the after sales departments of independent and branded stores, has diversified its client base towards key accounts including national brands. The transaction was funded with a €18m debt package split into a bank pool led by LCL for the tranches A and B and a €5m tranch C subscribed by Schelcher Prince Gestion (subsidiary of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa). SDS aroused significant appetite from investors as we received eight indicative offers.