• unexpected career and promotion prospects for the staff of this family-run SME,
• a strong regional foothold for ETDE in Charente and Charente-Maritime,
• job development in this region.


Laurent Adrian, Partner/Director of the transaction services consultancy, CFK Finance, has just overseen the sale of Lacombe Réseaux, based in Charente (16) and Charente-Maritime (17), to ETDE, electricity/maintenance subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, specialised in exterior networks, electrical, mechanical and thermal engineering, communication systems and facilities management.


In 2003, the executive founders of Lacombe Réseaux, Sylvie Vimond and Alain Renault, decided to assign CFK Finance with a view to selling the company. Their objective was to find a host group to sustain the company and grow their company assets. Established in 1992, Lacombe Réseaux, a public limited company owned by a holding company, is a family-run company. It posted a turnover of 4.4 million Euros in 2003 and a growth rate of more than 10% a year. It has 47 staff members with highly specific expertise in the areas of public lighting (36% of its turnover in 2003), works for EDF (19%), and in rural and underground electrification (33%) and overhead electrification (12%).

“We sought ‘natural’ buyers for this target, particularly a Belgian group, but we quickly pinpointed the strategic interest that ETDE might have in establishing itself in Charente and Charente Maritime, two regions in which it wasn’t present,” says Laurent Adrian. “The advantage of CFK Finance is that the sellers’ project was quickly considered by several serious candidates,” he continues.


Between the sellers, for whom this was a first experience of selling a company, and the challenges of negotiating with a structured group, CFK Finance finely reconciled the various technical and psychological stages of the transaction with the assistance of Karine Ricou from the Saje firm.


From the start of the discussions, ETDE understood the human dimension of the acquisition and considered the value of the Lacombe Réseaux teams. By joining ETDE, these teams will benefit from career and promotion prospects which would not have been possible within the framework of a family-run company.


Lacombe Réseaux complements the ETDE arrangement with an ideal local foothold and a high level of expertise in terms of business know-how.

“So, the integration of Lacombe Réseaux into a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction is a wonderful recognition of the 12 years’ work of the sellers, Ms Vimond and Mr Renault,” concludes Laurent Adrian.

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