Societex: ‘It’s like a think-tank for us’

Read the article :

Wherever we are in the world, M&A professionals have a common language that allows us to work together and get deals done. Indeed, this was one of the founding principles behind the creation of Dealsuite.

We wanted to help build connections between this incredible community of dealmakers, and this aspect of the platform has become a key attraction for members such as Thomas Beaurain, CEO of French independent investment bank Societex.

“I only want to be in contact with investment bankers,” he says. “We know how to talk to each other and we have a shared understanding of confidentiality.”

This professional approach inspires confidence and allows Beaurain to quickly understand opportunities and decide if there’s a good match, even in unfamiliar markets.

That was the case on a recent deal for Lincoln, a French leader in recruitment consulting that has been looking for potential acquisitions in Europe as it seeks to accelerate its international growth.

Beaurain and his colleagues know the French market well — Societex has been advising clients on corporate finance matters since 1952. But identifying cross-border M&A opportunities in the mid-market space, where Societex specialises, can be challenging.

“If you’ve got a deal that’s more than €200m, there aren’t so many potential buyers and it’s easy to know who they are,” he says. “But when you’re looking to sell a company for €10mn, there are a lot more potential international buyers.”

For Lincoln, Dealsuite was instrumental in helping to find opportunities. After posting a buy-side mandate on the platform, Beaurain was soon contacted by an M&A banker in the Netherlands who saw the potential for a deal with The Executive Network (TEN), a group of Dutch recruitment consulting businesses that included Whyz Executive Search.

This initial contact led to two years of talks and ultimately resulted in Lincoln buying a majority stake in TEN, helping to further expand its international presence.

“Without Dealsuite, I would never have found The Executive Network and Whyz,” says Thomas Beaurain, CEO of Societex. “Looking in a country like the Netherlands, which we don't know, is quite hard so Dealsuite was very helpful.”

After this acquisition, Lincoln now generates more than half its revenue from outside France and continues to explore opportunities in key European markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain.

For buy- or sell-side mandates, the ability to look further afield for potential partners can unlock much more favourable valuations, as well as opening opportunities that may not have been considered previously. Lincoln, for example, was not looking to expand into the Netherlands, but it quickly became clear that it shared a culture and vision with the team at TEN.

This ability to connect buyers and sellers keeps Beaurain checking Dealsuite every morning. “It’s like a think-tank for us,” he says. “Whether we’ve got something to buy or sell, it helps us to find what exists in the market.”

New call-to-action

Related articles