Following its thematic investment strategy, Pechel completes its third transaction with ReG (Responsible Growth) Fund through the acquisition of a majority stake in SMM Composites. Current shareholder (Aliamar) remains among investors alongside the management team, who increases its stake.
As a reminder, Pechel invests in three verticals that are fundamentally long-term-growth-generating: Design to Green for environmental transition, Made in France for sovereignty and reindustrialisation, and Sustainable Societies for inclusion, particularly through health and education. After investing in Ulysse (transport for people with reduced mobility – Sustainable Societies) and Louis Tellier Gobel (kitchen utensils – Made in France), ReG is completing its strategy with a first significant move on the climate theme.
Founded in 1984 and based in Lanester, at the heart of the Breton Sailing Valley, SMM Composites (Société Morbihannaise de Modelage) is specialized in designing and manufacturing composite moulds and pieces (fiberglass or carbon) notably for naval and nautical industries.
Relying on a unique know-how in large moulds, which allows the company to meet the inherent requirements of sailing competition and ocean racing (the company is regularly involved in prestigious races such as the “Vendée Globe”, “Route du Rhum” as well as the America’s Cup), SMM has become an essential player in the ecological transition. The company is involved in green energies development – SMM Composites designs moulds for the latest generations of wind and tidal turbine blades – and in the decarbonation of maritime transport.
The use of high-tech composite materials is actually a necessary step to reduce energy consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, through making ships lighter on the one hand (composite material is 7 times lighter than steel) and on the other hand, via the development of new technical solutions like hydrofoils or wind propulsion system. Regarding this latter, SMM is a reference partner of Chantiers de l’Atlantique for its SolidSail/Aeoldrive system, made up of a pivoting and tilting mast and a folding composite sail destinated to ocean liners and sailing cargo ships and which will allow to reduce the CO2 emissions by 40%. SMM manufactures moulds and assembles masts, among the tallest and strongest ever designed, which will equip in a first time the Neoline cargo ship and then the Silenseas, the largest sailing ship in the world, whose first orders were announced in January 2023 by the Orient Express group (Accor).
To meet its clients’ fast-growing needs, SMM will be able to rely on Pechel’s unique operational and extra-financial excellence system, which will enable the company to strengthen its expertise and accelerate its development.
Olivier Kerdoncuff, SMM President, says: “Our sector presents a lot of opportunities. It was essential for us to have a partner who would help us take those and reach a new step of development. We have been attracted by the highly operational support system offered by Pechel through its ReG fund. In particular, measuring and valuing the positive environmental impact of our solutions for our customers has been strongly differentiating for us.”
Denis Catz, Pechel President says: “SMM is a flagship of French know-how in the nautical industry. The unavoidable challenges of maritime transport decarbonation result in strong perspectives, especially for such a technical and innovative company. We are very excited at the idea of supporting SMM in their ambitious development projects.”
Sandra Pezet, Pechel Partner adds: “We have been impressed by the unique know-how of SMM in making innovative projects that have a real environmental impact. The operational support system that we are going to implement alongside the management team will give SMM additional resources to accelerate its growth and diversification.”
List of participants in the transaction:
ReG Fund (Pechel):
Denis Catz, Sandra Pezet, Bastien Labry, Romane Parent
Vincent Marsaudon, Alian Industries, Julien Legrand
Olivier Kerdoncuff, Linda Boin
M&A Advisors – Sellers:
Scalene Partners (Simon Eischen, Samuel Assaraf, Victoire Ribert)
CIC (Patrice Capdeville, Sylvain Kerjean, Camille Grasset),
Caisses d’Epargne Bretagne Pays de Loire (Nautibanque) (Stéphanie Menan, Céline Perreau)
Legal Advisors – Investors:
Corporate : Thomas Hermetet, Aurélie Bonsch, Maeldan Lavalou
Fiscal : Nicolas Privat
Social : Claire Bourgeois
Financial Due diligence – Investors:
Mortier&co (Olivier Mortier, Lucas Reynier, Maxime Ricard)
Market Due diligence – Investors:
Neovian Partners (Patrick Richer, Théo Petitjean)
ESG Due Diligence:
Crowe (Jean-Baptiste Cottenceau, Cécile Valard)
Legal Advisors – Management and Sellers:
MB&A (Gwénaëlle Hubert)