For its first investment, ReG Fund is taking a minority stake in the capital of Ulysse Group alongside the founder and the management team. MACSF (one of ReG Fund’s LPs and a historical partner of Sparring funds) is a co-investor in the transaction.
Founded in 1996 by Franck Vialle, Ulysse is the leading French network for transporting and supporting people with reduced mobility (PRM). The Group has a unique business model in France, combining its own network with a network of independent entrepreneurs operating under franchise agreements. Striving to provide a top-quality transportation service using specially designed vehicles and staffed by drivers/support workers who are specially trained to assist disabled and/or vulnerable people with their mobility needs has been at the very heart of Ulysse’s mission ever since its inception.
The Group offers three solutions: regular transport to ordinary schools, regular transport to specialised establishments and transport on demand. It also has a fleet of specialised vehicles available for hire and for sale and provides training for support staff. Based in Nice, Ulysse has a strong national presence thanks to its network of a hundred agencies, both owned and under franchise agreement.
In a fast-growing market driven by increasing efforts to include those with reduced mobility, Ulysse will capitalise on its historical expertise and its strong reputation to extend its geographical coverage and double the size of its network by providing its franchisees with even more services. The involvement of MACSF, the leading insurer for health professionals in France, will be an asset for strengthening the group’s position in the medico-social sector.
As part of the operation, Franck Vialle will retain his position as Chairman while gradually handing over the operational management of the Group to his son Tom.
“Ulysse is also a family story.” underlined Tom Vialle, 28. “Ulysse is like a little brother to me, a brother who I’ve seen be born and grow up.”
“Ulysse has become a collective adventure, bringing together a management duo that offers stability and momentum along with partners – Sparring Capital and MACSF – that will provide the means to achieve its ambitions,” continued Franck Vialle.
Denis Catz added: “We are very pleased to have been chosen as partners by the Vialle family to support them in the next phase of the Ulysse adventure. The Group’s commitment to solidarity and responsibility, which place human and environmental issues at the core of the project, are also at the heart of the ReG project. We are convinced that Ulysse will be able to build on its solid foundation of values to enrich its value proposition and seize market opportunities thanks to a particularly powerful and unifying franchise development model.”
List of the key players:
Denis Catz, Adrien de La Bouillerie, Justine Roze
Franck Vialle, Tom Vialle
Senior Lending Banks :
Caisse d’Epargne Côte d’Azur (Jean-Christophe Calmels)
Banque Populaire Méditerranée (Boris Mitelman)
Sell-side M&A Adviser :
N Finance (Guy Cohen, Maxime Dugast)
Legal Adviser to investors :
Corporate : Thomas Hermetet, Marina Lobell
Tax : Nicolas Privat
Financial Buyer Due Diligence :
Exponens (Matthias Collot, Clément Ausanneau)
Strategic Buyer Due Diligence :
Neovian Partners (Patrick Richer, Théo Petitjean)
Legal Adviser to the Management and Founders :
PDGB (Roy Arakelian, Thierry Jestin)
Legal Adviser to the Banks :
Askesis (Irina Travadel)