La compagnie des vétérinaires (LCV) has been innovating since it was founded 25 years ago, developing a system for cremating deceased pets at a time when corpses could only be rendered. A group of veterinarians first joined forces to address that common problem and to promote an ethical approach of pet death, but soon the growing need for an alternative solution to knackery led the path for a cremation market.
Today, with revenue of €39 million, 380 employees and 14 cremation centres in France, La compagnie des vétérinaires is a leading player in this market in France. Chairman Philippe Thomas and CEO François Dumoulin now want to make the company a European leader.
To support them, Crédit Mutuel Equity has made an initial investment of €12 million, which will help the company speed up its geographical expansion and roll out its cremation services outside France, particularly in Germany, Poland and Belgium. The company is also looking at opportunities in other territories.
Society's demands have changed since the company was founded, and pets' place in the home has completely changed. Pets are now regarded more as companions. La compagnie des vétérinaires is committed to ensuring that pets have a dignified end to their lives, and to providing the best possible support to families grieving the loss of a pet. The money invested by Crédit Mutuel Equity will help the company shift its offering gradually towards higher-value-added cremation services, in order to meet demand from grieving families.
LCV chairman Philippe Thomas explained: "LCV is a veterinary company at its core, and from the outset we have worked to serve animals. We want to have the resources to increase the quality of our services even further, and veterinarians will play a key role in those services. To achieve this, we needed a core shareholder to help us speed up the company's transformation, and we found it in Crédit Mutuel Equity."
CEO François Dumoulin added: "We are improving our offering in France, we have moved into Belgium, we have been operating in Germany for some time now and we have opened our first cremation centre in Poland. We have had a warm welcome from vets in all those countries, and we are confident that our efforts, combined with theirs, will have a positive long-term impact on animal welfare."
Amaury Leleu (Crédit Mutuel Equity) said : "This transaction is a turning point for LCV, allowing it to look forward with confidence and enthusiasm. The company now has a coherent, effective governance structure. It can focus on expanding in Europe while strengthening its partnerships with veterinarians in order to promote respect and ethics in funeral services for pets."
The aim of the transaction, which was completed in late March, is to give the company the resources to achieve its ambitions in both its established business and related services. As well as pet cremation, it has developed an equine cremation service under the Horsia brand, again to meet strong demand in this market segment. The company also produces and sells software under the Bourgelat and Vetocom brands, broadening its range of services and enabling it to offer solutions that make it easier for veterinarians to manage customer relations. These developments should increase revenue to around €60 million in three years' time, with 400 to 450 employees.
Crédit Mutuel Equity
Financial advisor, M&A: Vandersschooten Conseil (Benoit Vanderschooten).
Acquisition due diligence, legal and tax: Lamartine Conseil (Fabien Mauvais, Philippe Barouch, Camille Le Foyer de Costil).
Acquisition due diligence, financial: Mazars (Frédéric Maurel, Amaury Dantressangle).
Legal advisors: Lamartine Conseil (Fabien Mauvais, Philippe Barouch, Camille Le Foyer de Costil).
Press contact Crédit Mutuel Equity:
Résonancemedia - Véronique Richez-Lerouge
Mobile phone: +33 (0)6 14 63 90 00 - Phone: +33 (0)1 42 76 96 82