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The Verpack group, a player in luxury packaging, is writing a new page in its history with Crédit Mutuel Equity

A supplier to luxury brands, the family-owned Verpack group, founded by Jean-Claude Viers in Paris in 1993, is completing a managerial and shareholder transition initiated four years ago. Stéphane Viers takes over the presidency of the group and the majority of voting rights in the holding company created for the occasion. Crédit Mutuel Equity becomes the reference minority shareholder with 25% of the capital, alongside the company's key managers. This LBO, advised by Pax Corporate Finance, will enable Verpack to boost its growth by pursuing its strategy of external growth. Verpack generated sales of over €42 million in 2019 and employs 450 people.

 One of France's leading manufacturers of high-end cardboard boxes and cases, Verpack serves the most prestigious customers in the cosmetics, perfume, leather goods, spirits and luxury goods industries. With four production sites in France and one in Tunisia, the company boasts substantial printing and finishing resources, while positioning itself on major issues of social and environmental responsibility, to support its customers in implementing more virtuous packaging solutions. This approach is part of an underlying trend that has seen many customers relocate their production to the Group's plants in recent years, benefiting from innovations and unrivalled levels of service and responsiveness.
This operation marks a new era for our group, one of dynamic growth. It's a time for us to pool our expertise and resources in the service of French manufacturing, a welcome development for our customers. In this, ethics, quality, safety and, of course, the environment will be key values more than ever. "explains Stéphane Viers.

 Towards a new positioning

With the entry of Crédit Mutuel Equity, this transaction, advised by Pax Corporate Finance, aims to support the group's growth, its European expansion and future acquisitions. Verpack has built up its business mainly through successive acquisitions, with the purchase of Cartonnages Guillaume (Ile de France) in 2000, CLP Packaging (Burgundy) from the American group Chesapeake in 2006, and Korus Packaging (Bordeaux) in 2013. With the support of its new shareholder, the company intends to keep up the momentum. This operation also completes the move initiated by the group four years ago, to create a common brand and lead its various plants to standardize their processes.

The deal is supported by a moderate level of debt, mainly provided by the historic banks, notably BNP Paribas and Caisse d'Épargne Ile-de-France, co-arrangers, as well as Crédit du Nord and Société Générale. The financing includes a specific line designed to ensure reactivity in terms of acquisitions.

"Proud to accompany this leading player in premium packaging in its managerial transition to support its development, we were seduced by its fine French industrial facilities, the relevance of its business model, and its constant capacity to innovate in the service of a portfolio of prestigious customers, while being a forerunner in CSR issues. The group's critical size and strong market position make it ideally positioned for the external growth operations we are keen to support.add Jean-Marie Giannettini and Jean-Baptiste Champeau, Investment Directors at Crédit Mutuel Equity.


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