Founded in 1991 by Robert and Anne-Marie Blanchard, the parents of Nathalie Barendrecht, who co-runs the company with her husband Wouter Barendrecht, the company has grown by focusing on technological innovation from the outset. This enabled GT to gain market share thanks to its composite-based transmissions and become world market leader. The R&D department, which is based at the head office in Les Herbiers with 35 employees, has the role of designing and testing new products then manufactured at a highly automated plant in France, as well as in China to supply the Asian market and Mexico for the North American market. The products offered by GT are gearbox transmission solutions for walk-behind lawnmowers and transmission systems for heavier-duty motors like lawn tractors and snow blowers.
Always at the cutting edge of innovation and aware of the market shift towards all-electric, GT designed and manufactured the very first transmission for battery-powered walk-behind lawnmowers. The company's directors wanted to step up its rate of development and technological transformation by acquiring a specialist manufacturer of electric motors and controllers, which are key elements of electric lawnmowers, along with the transmission. That is why in April 2018, Nathalie and Wouter Barendrecht entered into discussions with their Chinese electrical motors supplier. By acquiring AEM - based in the Ningbo region, close to the current Chinese plant - the French company is anticipating the market shift towards electric power by making a complete transformation.
"We are aware the market will gradually move away from combustion engine technology. In the future, consumers will only buy battery lawnmowers and lawn care robots. Therefore, we needed to prepare for the future and make a leap in terms of development. The acquisition of AEM in China has many benefits for the company, including rapid access to new markets, consolidating our world market-leading position and the support of our production unit in France thanks to growth in new markets. This is a large-scale acquisition, with the target generating revenues of €25 million, and was supported by our longstanding banking partner, who we have a close relationship of trust with. Crédit Mutuel Equity came up with a solution very suitable for a family-owned SME like ours, allowing us to make our aims concrete," explains the managing duo.
"We were attracted by the agility of the company - world market leader in its sector - which is headed by a couple of visionary directors offering a strong fit and used to working in an international environment. By integrating this target, the Group will have the means to face the major challenges of a complete industrial transformation. This strategic and ambitious acquisition will enable General Transmissions to gain further credibility and develop a comprehensive offering in the fast-growing electric market. We are pleased to take on this challenge alongside the directors of the company, which is set to achieve impressive international growth," explains Fanny Hibon, Principal at Crédit Mutuel Equity.
Crédit Mutuel Equity
Tel.: +33 (0)2 40 35 75 31
Legal advisor: CVS Avocats (Olivier Greffard);
Financial audit: KPMG (Arnaud Colas, Cyril Cagic)
Legal and social audit: CVS Avocats (Olivier Greffard, Bertrand Salmon,
Legal and tax advisor: Parthema Avocats (Rodolphe Pesneau); BDO (Philippe Aucher)
CIC Ouest (Maryvonne Fréour, Patrice Leï, Mathilde Roux)
CMO (Marc Meulot, Christophe Guinaudeau).
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