Andera Partners and Smalt Capital support shareholders of SPS Group, a member of the ECF network, in its capital restructuring around its managing director and its team
PARIS, 22 MARCH 2023 – Advised by Crédit Agricole Midcap Advisors, the shareholders of SPS are undertaking a capital restructuring around its managing director, Mr. Frédéric Filippi and his team with the support of Andera Partners, a first-rate player in the capital investment field, through its Andera Acto team, a specialist in sponsorless mezzanine strategies, and Smalt Capital, through its Sud Horizon team, a leading player in capital investment in the South Region. This operation enables Frédéric Filippi to significantly strengthen his position in the capital while ensuring total liquidity to Mr. Gilbert Cassar and Mrs. Monique Marangoni, the historic co-founders of the Group. The goal of the shareholders of SPS is to rely on this partnership to accelerate dynamic growth and development through organic and external growth.
At the end of a competitive process organised by Crédit Agricole Midcap Advisors, management, led by Frédéric Filippi selected Andera Acto and Smalt Capital to strengthen its position in the capital and provide it with support in the next phases of its development. The Operation is structured based on mezzanine financing and a minority capital contribution. The acquisition debt is co-arranged by BNP Paribas and Banque Populaire Méditerranée, and completed by Banque Postale, Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC, CIC and Crédit Coopératif.
Established in 1993, SPS is the leader in the PACA region in professional training for merchandise, passenger and logistic transport jobs and the first member of the national ECF network. With a turnover of more than 25 M€ and approximately 200 employees, SPS offers a large catalogue of certificate training.
SPS is positioned on a market which benefits from strong entry barriers related to restrictive regulations and more and more strict financing conditions (Qualiopi, CACES), with a significant lack of staff for these professions.
SPS currently disposes of a dense territorial network of 25 training centres in the PACA and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, which enables it to be the only training organisation capable of managing a large volume of learners and to respond to significant tenders of large contractors. The trainers, the holding and rental of a recent and quality equipment pool, digital development as well as belonging to a national ECF network are real advantages.
The goal of Frédéric Filippi is to pursue the development of the Group by external growth, beyond the South-East region. Accordingly, SPS already acquired Legon Formation in October 2022 established in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region and other acquisition operations are at an advanced stage of discussions.
Frédéric Filippi, Director of SPS states : “ I am delighted to launch into this adventure with my new partners. For several months now, we have found the chemistry that works. This adventure is also a beautiful human adventure both in terms of the connection with Mr. Gilbert Cassar as well as that with my new shareholders and employees. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Crédit Agricole Midcap Advisors team for the quality of their work, and their assistance and support during this transition period ! Let’s now move forward together on new projects ! ”
The Andera Partners team adds : “ We are delighted to participate in this new chapter of the development of the SPS group, alongside Frédéric whose extensive knowledge of the market, and proven track record on external growth integration have made the group a natural consolidator in the PACA and neighbouring regions. Andera Acto was attracted by Frédéric’s ambition and will to grow ”.
The Smalt Capital team adds : “ We are very happy to have received the trust of Frédéric and the Andera Acto team in inviting us to participate in the operation of the SPS group. We were immediately attracted by the fundamentals and values of the group, and are delighted to provide support to Frédéric and his teams in this new growth phase focused notably on the acquisition of new training centres”.
The Crédit Agricole Midcap Advisors team concludes : “ We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of SPS in their managerial transfer, from their President, Gilbert Cassar to their Managing Director, Frédéric Filippi. This operation raised great interest from the investors. Andera Acto distinguished itself by its flexibility, strong responsiveness, understanding of strategic challenges in this sector, and relationship of trust with the directors of SPS. We are convinced that SPS will be one of the principal players and consolidators in this sector”.