Business transfers

Feb 2024

Oaklen Consulting management takes off with the support of Entrepreneur Invest, BPRI and Crédit Agricole

Customers and counterparties

– Oaklen Consulting, an independent consulting firm specializing in payments, completes a second MBO, two years after a first transaction of the same type, to accelerate its growth strategy.
– Backed by Entrepreneur Invest and accompanied by PAX Corporate Finance and Scotto Partners, this buy-out enabled 30 employees to acquire a stake in the company. Rémi Gitzinger becomes Managing Director of Oaklen Consulting.
– The Group generated sales of almost 9 million in 2023 and anticipates strong growth in a booming market, which is expected to be worth 3.3 billion dollars worldwide by 2026 (+11% annual growth over the period 2021-2028).

Paris, February 12, 2024.

After an initial MBO in 2021, marked by Rémi Gitzinger’s return to Oaklen Consulting as Deputy Managing Director (DGA), the firm is finalizing its transfer. Thanks to the implementation of a strategy that is both ambitious and realistic, the firm’s growth has accelerated, strengthening its position as one of the few independent players in the sector, combining strategic and operational expertise.

Oaklen Consulting is an independent consulting firm specializing in payments, supporting its customers across the entire value chain: strategic studies, digital marketing, design and implementation of payment platforms, consulting and auditing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. The complementary nature of its expertise enables it to support players on both the demand and supply sides, i.e. banks, payment solution providers and major corporations, particularly in the retail, luxury goods and industrial sectors.

The firm, founded in 2001 and then headed by Patrick Wajsbrot (formerly PW Consultants), carried out a Management Buy-Out (MBO) in 2021.

This initiative marked the gradual departure of the founder, with the aim of involving the company’s ten historical managers. Rémi Gitzinger, after an initial experience in the early days of the firm, returned as Deputy Managing Director (DGA).

Under the leadership of the new team, the Group launched a three-year strategy aimed at strengthening its expertise, expanding into new markets, and reinforcing its employer brand. This strategy has enabled us to consolidate the expertise of our staff and establish Oaken Consulting as a major player in the payment industry.

A capital opening involving the management and operational team

Supported by Entrepreneur Invest, the managers become the majority shareholders by contributing all their shares and reinvesting massively in the operation. The deal was financed by a banking pool consisting of BPRI (arranger) and Crédit Agricole.

This MBO will enable Oaklen Consulting to maintain its independence and deepen its expertise, which are real competitive advantages in a market currently being consolidated by large consulting firms.

Characterized by complex, constantly evolving regulations and accelerating digitalization, the payments market is forecast to be worth $3.3 billion by 2026, with 11% annual growth predicted over the period 2021-2028. Boosted by its rebranding, which has enabled it to better promote its services, and the development of new offerings, Oaklen Consulting has diversified its customer portfolio and enjoyed double-digit growth. Regulatory developments, and in particular the forthcoming introduction of the new DSP3 directive or the European Payments Initiative (EPI), open up promising new market opportunities for the firm.

Under the impetus of Rémi Gitzinger, with his in-depth knowledge of the sector, this initiative is part of a robust corporate culture based on shared value, high standards and ambition. For Rémi Gitzinger: "Our first asset and our main strength is the team. We are convinced of the strength of the collective: this MBO will enable us to retain those who have supported the firm's growth, and reinforce the investment of each of our experts. The team is the cornerstone of consulting! Ours is characterized by its expertise, complementarity and cohesion."
For Julie Gruner, Investment Director at Entrepreneur Invest, this transaction represents a strong commitment to Oaklen Consulting's potential: "We were attracted first and foremost by the quality and motivation of the team, as well as by Oaklen's positioning, which, on the strength of its expertise, has been able to diversify its offering and expand into new verticals. We are convinced of the company's potential to become a key player in its market".

Associate members