Implementing French digital connections

Deal Flash

Groupe JVS, which develops software for the French public administration and provides 14,000 municipalities and local authorities with SaaS solutions, has led a new OBO alongside Parquest Capital and Bpifrance.

Founded in 1983, Groupe JVS provides digital solutions for all main functions of the public administration and municipalities: finance, HR, civic life, childcare, public facilities and municipal elections. In the last four years, Groupe JVS has emerged as a leading consolidator by successfully completing five acquisitions (Better Company, Start ABI, Sistec, Be Attractive and another still under negotiation). It has consolidated its presence in France and enriched its solutions in areas such as field service management, childcare services, and CRM (citizen relationship management) to address the fast-growing needs of local authorities for digital services.

As a result of this tertiary OBO, Groupe JVS’s management team, led by CEO Nebojsa Jankovic, increases its ownership and remains the majority shareholder of the group. Apax Partners and UI Gestion sold their shares after partnering for four years. Parquest Capital invests in French mid-size companies and focuses on long-term growth projects both in France and abroad. Bpifrance is the French Sovereign Fund which invests in startups, SMEs and mid-caps through direct investment and a fund of funds activity.

Market trends and deal drivers

In the current Covid-19 situation it has become an even bigger challenge to monitor public action and succeed in the digital transformation of local authorities. All software publishers which have enabled remote working for public agents and made communication easier for citizens, as well as helping them with their administrative tasks, have proved the importance of their business model. The international pandemic has greatly increased interest in all systems that enable people to keep in touch while maintaining social distancing, such as video conferencing, and which are easy to use, cheap and environmentally sustainable. Verizon’s acquisition of Zoom’s competitor BlueJeans shows that it is very likely that other transactions aimed at consolidating the sector will follow.

M&A valuation aspects

The valuation of the transaction remains confidential. In addition to Groupe JVS’s ability to generate growth and improve profit margins, the quality of the management team and its innovation-driven DNA had a strong influence on the valuation. Transactions in the sector are currently based on EBITDA multiples of 11–17x. This trend is only indicative and does not take into account the impact that current circumstances may have.

We would like to thank Apax and UI Gestion for the added value they have brought us over the past four years. Through this operation we are now launching a new chapter with a main objective of external and organic growth. To take this step, Parquest Capital and Bpifrance appear to be the most suitable partners. To support us in this operation, we naturally turned to Oaklins. As long-time allies, they have seen us grow, mastered our business model and are in tune with our future ambitions NEBOJSA JANKOVIC, CEO, GROUPE JVS, FRANCE

Oaklins found the best partner to develop the business

Oaklins’ team in France assisted Groupe JVS and its shareholders throughout this highly competitive sale process to structure the most attractive transaction for its client.

Eric felix faure
Éric Félix-Faure Paris, France
Managing Partner
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All information about the transaction, market trends, deal drivers and M&A valuation aspects is available as pdf.

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