This is a translation of an Article in the French paper Les Echos, published on May 27, 2021.

The leader in Interim Management in France has continued to grow in 2020, even though the overall market declined by at least 5%. It has continued its acquisitions in Europe to increase the share of international business from 25% to 33% of its total activity. At a time when the ecological transition and the digital revolution are disrupting companies’ business lines and organisations, one might logically conclude that Interim Management, which notably includes change management assignments, is experiencing a golden age. Especially as the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is adding to the turmoil at a time when our societies are undoubtedly living one of the greatest shifts in history.

However, the successive lockdowns to cope with the deadly advance of the coronavirus have considerably slowed down the economic activity. The consulting sector did not escape the slowdown, nor did firms specializing in Interim Management. According to the industry’s national federation barometer, the market fell by 5% over just a year, in 2020. The decline was probably even greater, as three major firms that are not members, Delville, EIM and X-PM, have also experienced a difficult year.

Package deals

Philippe Soullier, CEO and Founder of Valtus Group

This puts in perspective the performance of Valtus which reports a 70 million turnover versus 54 million the previous year. ”We were very active from a sales point of view with, for example, free evaluations in March 2020 or package deals. Our international activity also helped us a lot,” says Philippe Soullier, President and Founder of Valtus, the European leader in the market.

External growth played a big part. Backed by two minority shareholders since early 2020, Société Générale Capital Partenaires and GENEO Capital Entrepreneur, in place of Initiative & Finance, the firm made two acquisitions in Sweden and Finland that brought more than EUR 10 million in additional funding. In France, its organic growth remains at 3%, while the share of international business in the overall activity rose from 25% to 33%. Valtus does not intend to stop there, and expects to sign a letter of intent for a new acquisition in Europe before the end of June.

Assignments creating positive societal impact

”With more than 500 assignments per year, we can get a true sense of the operational changes under way,” emphasises Philippe Valtus, who is also pleased with the increase in the number of assignments with a “social or environmental impact”. Good examples would be an assignment led by an interim executive as managing director of a car dismantling plant to fuel the circular economy, or another at the Nantes-based Biotech company Xenothera involved in developing a treatment for Covid-19.

Valtus, which has made English its working language, has strong ambitions to reach a EUR 150 million turnover by 2024, and plans to begin working on a new framework governance by 2025-2030.

Source: Les Echos May 27, 2021. Original article in French: