Sopral x Parquest
Parquest is 20 years old. On our anniversary, let’s take a look at some of our most emblematic investments in each of our three preferred sectors (B-to-B services, Health & Care and Consumer goods).
Let’s go to the world of petfood, with Yannick Gueho, director of Sopral. The company offers a range of premium dry products, without GMOs and cereals, for dogs and cats.
– What made you join Parquest in 2018?
Yannick Gueho : We used to be a subsidiary of the Avril group and our activity was no longer strategic to them. In order to fully develop, we were looking for the best buyer of course, but above all, it was the human factor that made the difference.
There was an immediate alchemy between us.
Thomas Babinet : Even before meeting Yannick, we were strongly convinced of the attractiveness of Sopral. The feedback from the market was unanimous on the quality of the products and the know-how. And, from the first contact, we were impressed by Yannick’s dynamism and determination. We knew right away that we would get along well.
– How did you work together to meet the company’s challenges?
Thomas Babinet : Parquest has supported Sopral in its corporate transformation process. In addition to structuring the financial management (finding the right CFO profile for an LBO, etc.), we have worked together on an ambitious growth strategy and made the necessary investments to achieve it.
Yannick Gueho : Indeed, we have agreed on three main areas of development.
- The strengthening of marketing, in order to offer consumers a better readability of our range;
- The development of e-commerce, which accounts for an important growth lever, allowing us to diversify our distribution channels which were until now exclusively focused on specialized distribution;
- Export. Sopral had an opportunistic approach to the international market. This approach had been successful, but we then had to act pragmatically and focus on key countries in order to capture larger market shares.
At every stage, Parquest has supported us in dedicating the appropriate human and financial resources we needed to achieve our ambition.
– What did Parquest bring to you?
Yannick Gueho : What best characterizes our relationship is the word “challenge”. Parquest has pushed us to the limit, to think “out of the box” and to go very far in our strategic thinking; always in a positive and constructive way. Until then, our approach to business development was a bit timid. Parquest taught us how to be more ambitious, which we didn’t allow ourselves to do before. We questioned our initial strategy, such as investing in e-commerce for instance.
With Parquest, we have made great progress; the entire management committee has gained in skills. However, we never felt that they were intrusive.
Parquest provided us with a methodology which, combined with our operational know-how and commercial sense, enabled the company to make a significant leap forward. The results are there: in only 4 years, our turnover has increased from 45 M€ to 65 M€, without having to resort to external growth.
Clearly, if the company had not been sold and supported by Parquest, we would not stand where we are today.
– What are the keys to a successful partnership with an investor?
Yannick Gueho : It is above all a human story; it is fundamental to share the same values. You need respect, trust, humility and the ability to listen. These qualities are to be found at Parquest. With them, we all feel committed to the success of a common project.