- The energy sector has taken a distinct turn in France: Direct Energie and Quadran merged in 2017 with the aim of forming a market leader in the French energy sector
- Drooms’ virtual data room solution was used in order to grant the various transaction parties access to confidential documentation
- A transaction which required not only highly developed technical and financial due diligence processes but also involved the consultation of nearly one million pages
London/Paris– Direct Energie, the third-largest energy and gas supplier in France, merged with the independent market leader for green energy production in France, Quadran, for around EUR 400 million in 2017, making it the largest transaction in the company’s history to date.
This alliance between Direct Energie and Quadran has created a key market player in France, now in a position to drive the energy transition. As the third-largest player in the French energy and gas sector, Direct Energie is an integrated operator supplying 2.5 million private and commercial client locations in France and Belgium.
The 2017 transaction, which represents a historic deal in the French energy sector, involved various participants, all of whom had to be integrated into the due diligence process. This vital stage of the transaction required the checking of core elements and criteria so as to provide a clear overview of the target company to eventual buyers and investors. In order to carry out the project Drooms rose to the task of providing a platform, allowing the viewing and exchange of thousands of documents amongst the various parties involved including financial advisors, corporate lawyers, technical experts, insurance firms, investors and bankers.
The technical aspects of the tool and the level of customer service provided to Quadran’s advisors during the transaction were particularly appreciated, especially by independent investment bank Taylor-DeJongh and law firm Auguste Debouzy. “The fact that we were able to pull up documents immediately without any delay despite the high volume of documents being processed meant that we were able to work much more efficiently. Beyond the platform itself, our teams greatly appreciated the professionalism of, and the speed at which, our contacts at Drooms were able to respond over the course of the project, “commented Jochen Nuessle, Vice President of Taylor-DeJongh. “Faced with the high number of participants, it was of huge importance that we could trust the reliability of the virtual data room tool so that we could fully concentrate on the transaction itself,” added Jérôme Brosset, a lawyer at August Debouzy. Jean-Marc Bouchet, founder of Quadran, has already used Drooms for strategic transactions several times in the past and emphasised his satisfaction with the service: “The quality of service remains exceptional, the support teams were able to totally fulfil Quadran’s requirements for this historic transaction.”
The merger will see Direct Energie, a new market player originally founded back in 2003 when the French energy market opened up, supply eco-power from Quadran which has been attained from the main renewable energy sources: Wind power, photovoltaic power, hydroelectric power, biogas and biomass. With over 220 employees across France, Quadran’s field of activity ranges from project conception to operating eco-power installations. Total production generated from its installation parks at the end of 2016 totalled over 360 MW (gross), although this is set to rise to approximately 800 MW by the end of 2018. The takeover initiated by Direct Energie forms part of the group’s investment strategy, the objective of which is to establish a diversified, balanced production mix targeted at the energy transition.