Crédit Mutuel Equity, the international investment company of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, today announced the completion of an investment for a minority stake in Chemoform Group. The group manufactures and distributes equipment for private and public swimming pools as well as the products needed for maintenance and water treatment. With a turnover of more than 200 million euros per year, it is the second largest group in the sector in Europe. This is already the fifth transaction completed by Crédit Mutuel Equity since it has entered the German market in 2018. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
CF Group, headquartered in Wendlingen am Neckar, was formed in October following the acquisition of the French group FIJA by the German company Chemoform AG. Founded in 1962, Chemoform AG offers swimming pools and a complete range of products for the cleaning, hygiene and maintenance of private and public swimming pools. With a portfolio of several brands (including Chemoform, Waterman, Dinotec, Balena, Dr. Nüsken and Aqualux) and several thousand customers in more than 40 countries, Chemoform AG has become one of Europe's leading companies in water treatment, technical equipment and complete systems for the swimming pool industry.
Founded in 1975 and based in Brécé in France, the FIJA group is specialized in the B2B distribution of private and public swimming pool equipment. The portfolio includes brands such as DEL, CLASS, Aqualux, LMP, Naturacqua, RPC and Carré Bleu. The group is present in more than 30 countries and employs 250 people in France and abroad.
The two companies have been working together since 2014 by pooling their know-how and reach their customers through different distribution channels: specialty stores, DIY stores, online retailers, and also the public sector. The acquisition of the FIJA group by Chemoform AG has created a vertically integrated group with a potential for synergies in the areas of manufacturing, sales, logistics and personal. Together, the two companies aim to conquer new segments in the swimming pool market, from manufacturing to maintenance, in order to better meet customer needs and expand their geographical coverage.
Cedrik Mayer-Klenk, CEO of Chemoform AG, explains: "By pooling our know-how and industrial, commercial and logistical synergies, we are not just adding capacities, but increasing them. We aim to become one of the most important players in the pool and wellness market in Europe and internationally."
Marc Maupas, Chairman of the FIJA Group, added: "France is the largest European market for swimming pool, but our future growth gœs beyond national borders. However, we are not entering this new phase alone, but with the help of two strong partners: Chemoform, our long-standing and valued partner with CEO Cedrik Mayer-Klenk, and Crédit Mutuel Equity, which has been working for 40 years with entrepreneurs for successful cooperation."
Crédit Mutuel Equity's investment has been made through a capital increase as part of the acquisition of FIJA group by Chemoform AG, with the objective of supporting long-term growth thanks to its capital, know-how and international network. Through the diversity of its portfolio, Crédit Mutuel Equity is familiar with the French and international swimming pool market and has already helped many companies to expand beyond their borders.
Sébastien Neiss, Managing Director of Crédit Mutuel Equity in Frankfort, said: "This transaction highlights Crédit Mutuel Equity's identity as a key player of transformation capital, for a long-term partnership with family companies that benefit from strong growth potential or with independent companies that we can support not only financially, but also with our expertise and our network."
This transaction has been advised by Benten Capital (M&A), KMZ (legal), Warth&Klein Grant Thornton (financial/ tax), Heuking (legal) and Dr. Ing. Wieselhuber&Partner (commercial).