CFK Finance has just completed the sale of E.L.F.E (French Language School for Foreigners), a private further education establishment. The buyer is a natural person, Jérôme Serrat. The school, based in a charming hotel of character, welcomes adults from all over the world to teach them the French language and about French culture. Specialised in individualised teaching in small groups, E.L.F.E. is a small company and therefore benefits from a family-like atmosphere. For 7 years, E.L.F.E. was headed by Sophie du Mesnil, who had taken over from her mother, the founder of the establishment in 1984.


In 2003, Sophie du Mesnil entrusted Claude Lachaud, Partner/ Business manager at CFK Finance Consultancy, with a sell-side assignment to search for a buyer for her company. Through this assignment, one of CFK Finance’s responsibilities was to find a candidate whose profile had to meet all the specifications of the target and sustain “the E.L.F.E. spirit”.


Laurent Adrian, Partner/Director of the CFK Finance Transaction Services consultancy, managed this sale transaction. He says, “From the outset we had a dozen buyers, several of whom proved to be acceptable candidates. This is rare for a company of this size.” So CFK Finance put forward the various buyers simultaneously. Step by step (price, transaction plan, memorandum of agreement, guarantees, etc.), each received the same information and the same requests at the same time, and were subject to the same response times.


The transfer of ownership took place subject to conditions subsequent at the beginning of May, and the payment of the price and the final transfer of company rights on 1st June 2004. Sophie du Mesnil, who describes the buyer, Jérôme Serrat, as “ideal”, will provide her support for as long as it is required.

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