Conex, French leader in software solutions for customs and security procedures management, opens its capital to 21 Invest France to accelerate its development in France and internationally
21 Invest supports the company in its dynamic of expansion with an acquisition of a majority stake through its 6th generation of Funds. Alban and Bertrand Gruson, founders of the software publisher, are reinvesting significantly to drive an ambitious growth strategy for the years to come.
For nearly 40 years, Conex has supported companies involved in international trade, shippers and Registered Customs Representatives in optimizing their customs procedures through specialized software and associated services. The family-owned group holds more than two-thirds of the market in France, thanks to its historical expertise, its comprehensive range of solutions and its tailor-made offerings.
At the heart of the modernization of customs processes, Conex offers a digital platform dedicated to the processing of all types of customs and security declarations, and ensures the electronic exchange of data between private parties (suppliers, customers) and customs authorities in France and abroad.
Conex has established itself as an essential intermediary in the customs panorama for SMEs and multinationals alike, thanks to the experience of its 60 employees, as well as its agility and capacity for innovation in a complex and ever-evolving industry. The group's recognized expertise has enabled it to count on a base of over 1,600 clients and to post sales of €M 12, with double-digit growth over the last three years and solid profitability.
21 Invest France will support Conex in accelerating its organic growth in France and internationally, as recently initiated with three subsidiaries in the UK, Ireland and Belgium. In addition, 21 will also support Conex in its external growth strategy, with the acquisition of European players to broaden its offering and/or strengthen existing solutions. Finally, Conex will continue its action in terms of sustainability, in line with 21's policy and the regulations in force in its industry.
Alban and Bertrand Gruson, founder and co-directors of the Conex group, comment:
"We are very satisfied to have met a partner like 21 Invest on our growth path, who has understood our business and the market opportunities, and is willing to support us in deploying a strategy of conquest. In our search for capital, we chose 21 Invest, given the entrepreneurial and family spirit that drives both our organizations."
Stéphane Perriquet, Managing Partner at 21 Invest France, comments:
"Conex has all the hallmarks of the projects we support at 21: a leading position in a buoyant market, excellent financial performance, a business model offering high recurrence and, last but not least, a fragmented European market presenting solid opportunities for consolidation. We were also attracted by the family project, led by Alban and Bertrand Gruson, which fits in perfectly with our DNA. Conex has the expertise, the customer recognition and the perfect positioning to change scale and consolidate its leadership in France and internationally.”
List of participants
21 Invest France (Stéphane Perriquet, Hadrien Jourdan, Patrick Aris), Conex (Alban Gruson, Bertrand Gruson)
Advisors to the buyers
Financial due diligence: Crowe HAF (Thomas Corbineau, Julien Latrubesse), Strategic & IT due diligence: Indefi x Singulier (Mathieu Ferel, David Toledano, Clément Huguet), Legal and Tax advisor: Hogan Lovells (Stéphane Huten, Ali Chegra, Maximilien Roland, Shanna Hodara), Legal and Financing advisor: Jeausserand-Audouard (Marie-Paule Noel)
Advisors to the sellers
Financial VDD: Exelmans (Stéphane Dahan, Eric Chan, Thibault Gerald); Legal counsel: Jeausserand-Audouard (Patrick Loiseau, Juliette Ritouret)
CIC Private Debt (Nicolas Offroy, Baptiste Robin), Lenders' legal counsel: Nabarro Béraud (Magali Béraud)