The Picard group was founded in 1956 by the father of the current CEO, and has carried out two structuring external growth operations, buying Citra in 2016 and Transports Grimonprez in 2018. This new acquisition means that consolidated sales now reach 240 million euros and a workforce of 2 300.
The group's historic partners, Picardie Investissement and Bpifrance became shareholders in 2015, as did Crédit Mutuel Equity in 2017, and reinvested in this third round.
The family-owned company has developed in these three areas historically :
- The transport business which covers freight and vehicle hire, with or without drivers. This business includes both conventional transport services for large accounts in the supermarket and hypermarket sector and for industry as well as agri-food, chemicals, cosmetics and specialist transport, in particular for aviation, supplying services such as transporting cockpits, fuselage parts, and A320 VTPs and luggage holds, and so on.
- The logistics business works out of 330 000 m2 of warehouses shared between 15 logistics sites. Made-to-measure services are cover reception, storage, co-packing and picking services.
- The industrial logistics business primarily concerns aviation logistics. This division is based on 6 sites (either on the customer site or on its own site) throughout France. The Blondel group has also worked with the European aircraft manufacturers in an international context using its two sites that have opened in Tunis and Casablanca.
The company is capable of strong, long-lasting innovation, especially in CSR, and was one of the first to launch a fleet of biomethan/electric vehicles (one hundred out of the 1200 engines in operation) and to develop a hydrogen solution.
Grégoire Blondel has been at the head of the company since 1994 and wishes it to remain family-run and to continue the energy transition already underway in the transport and logisitics divisions. Furthermore, he wants to address the challenge of digitalization by offering innovation to his customers as well as his staff. The acquisition of Transports Régis Martelet will allow the development of logistical e-commerce solutions, in particular, to be accelerated. This family-run company, which was founded in 1850 in Dijon, has total sales of 38 million euros and employs 250 staff. It operates in the sectors of conventional transport and of vehicles with drivers, as well as in traditional and digital logistics.
« We work hand-in-hand with our historic financial partners, and they support the group's development by way of their performance, expertise and active network, particularly for identifying external growth operations. Our coming operations are more focused on the logistics businesses, and we would also like to consolidate our partnerships by helping our customers in their business and projects in Europe, in particular in Spain and Portugal. We should see a turnover of 300 million euros in 2023 », says Grégoire Blondel.
Crédit Mutuel Equity has been a shareholder since 2017 and wanted to take the opportunity of this new acquisition to strengthen its partnership with the Blondel group.
« Their management demonstrated real integration know-how during the two previous external growth operations. This regional ETI has joint synergetic positioning, working in both transport and logistics, which means that it can offer a global response to its customers. Moreover, the group has developed strong sectorial expertise in aviation logistics. This is a highly strategic niche market and offers good prospects for growth » adds Mathieu Sollet, Principal at Crédit Mutuel Equity.
Alain Teux, Director of Investment at Bpifrance Investissement, adds the following: « Bpifrance has been working with the Blondel group for around 20 years now. We have witnessed the group's impressive development which is a result of the strategic directions of its managing director, Grégoire Blondel. We are very proud to be working alongside the group's dynamic team once more on this project, which represents an important stage in its development. » Vincent Stievenard, Inter-regional Equity Directeur of Bpifrance's Northern Network, concludes : « One of the reasons the group is so successful is that Grégoire Blondel takes particular care to ensure that the teams from different companies are integrated and he has built up a team of committed managers around him ».
Crédit Mutuel Equity
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Grégoire Blondel, CEO
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