How was the Cevino Glass group formed?
Thierry Gautier: In 2010, after a career working as an employee in various general management roles, I wanted to try my hand at acquiring a company. I looked at a number of very interesting possibilities, but I decided on two highly attractive glazing companies in the Hauts-de-France region. I was passionate about glass, a noble material that had accompanied me throughout my career. So in 2012 I acquired Dubrulle and Le Kap Verre to form the Cevino Glass group. In the next few years, several more companies joined the group, which now consists of nine subsidiaries and 14 sites.
Most of your companies have kept their own brands...
T. G.: Yes, and most importantly a large degree of independence. I think that one of the main reasons for our success is that we allow the managers of our companies to retain their entrepreneurial spirit. Of course, that doesn't prevent us from achieving synergies in production, purchasing, HR and administration. The group is a consistent whole, with common rules and a shared vision of our mission: to increase well-being through natural light and a custom-made approach.
In practical terms, what does the group do?
T. G.: The idea is to provide a comprehensive "supply and fit" glazing service to businesses and consumers. We make 70% of our revenue from processing glass: cutting, assembly, finishing, surface treatments, shaping and lamination. Those activities allow us to offer a wide range of products including floor tiles, balustrades, shower enclosures, kitchen splashbacks, and windows for homes and shops. Our second main business line, which accounts for 30% of our revenue, consists of installing these glazing products for our clients. The beauty of our business lies in its wide variety, in terms of both applications - from the most technical to the most design-led - and clients.
What are Cevino Glass's main areas of development?
T. G.: The common thread is that we are dedicated to achieving excellence, in order to provide our clients with the best possible support. We also invest a great deal in innovation, both as regards our products - as shown by our Glassvariations glass furnishings range - and our distribution channels, with our www.toutverre.com e-commerce site that we launched in 2017.
In a sector undergoing consolidation, we are also paying very close attention to acquisition opportunities, in order to supplement our expertise and expand our geographical footprint. In June 2018, we acquired a majority stake in glazing group Averia, giving us exposure to the Paris market, which shows very strong potential. However, our ambitions are not just limited to building a glazing group. Our focus on well-being and living spaces mean that, in future, we could acquire companies that complement our traditional business lines and procurement methods.
What is Crédit Mutuel Equity's role in your development?
T. G.: In financial terms, we wouldn't have been able to embark on this journey without Crédit Mutuel Equity's help as an investor. However, it's now much more than just a financial partner. Running a business can be a lonely pursuit, but I have regular conversations with my contacts at Crédit Mutuel Equity (formerly CM-CIC Investissement), whose perspective on strategic matters is always valuable.
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