Marriage in sight between Obifive and Pilotis? The idea is not so far-fetched. Especially since these two Parisian structures, respectively focused on human resources consulting and inter- and intra-company training, have already taken a first step towards a future merger. Like a kind of engagement. On the advice of Pax Corporate Finance and Wingate, Obifive, which last year generated a turnover of €6.5 million with a 15% profitability, has just bought a 20% stake in Pilotis. “Intervening in the organisation of human resources, training of management teams, coaching and assessment, Obifive wanted to strengthen its position in the field of training to meet the demand of its clients, who are now looking to buy different services from the same provider”, explains Laurent-Bernard Feral, Associate Director at Pax Corporate Finance.
Creating a group to rival the market leaders
By chance, Pilotis, which until now was 70% owned by its founder Philippe Tramondt, while his two partners, Christian Chanoine and Philippe Grosjean, held 20% and 10% of the capital respectively, was looking to join forces with a group operating in complementary businesses. “Together, Obifive and Pilotis will be able to offer a wider range of services to their partners,” says Philippe Tramond, who remains the majority shareholder with a 56% stake, compared to 16% and 8% for Christian Chanoine and Philippe Grosjean. According to our sources, the target company, which last year posted revenues of €3.4m with net income of €340k and twenty-one employees, is also counting on this operation to accelerate the development of Centoridep, the inter-company training structure that it bought in January 2010 and then restructured with the support of the financial consultant CMW International. “Our objective is to create, within three years, a group capable of competing with the market leaders and generating more than €10m in turnover,” continues the director.
Synergies between businesses and clients
To achieve this, he is banking in particular on the creation of synergies between Obifive’s and Pilotis’ businesses and clients. “Obifive will be able to offer coaching services tailored to Pilotis’ SME clients, while Pilotis will be able to bring its know-how to Obifive’s clients in the area of training,” explains Stéphane Cohen, a partner at Wingate, who carried out the financial due diligence on behalf of Obifive. Owned 68% by its operational partners, including its director Christian Darvogne, the buyer, 32% of whose capital is still in the hands of the Dutch foundation GITP, an international reference in the field of assessment, would finance the takeover from its own funds. And this through Galaxie Investissement, the investment holding of its main shareholders. According to our sources, Obifive, which employs thirty-five consultants in Paris, may take a larger stake in the company over the next three years. Eventually, the marriage could well take place.