An MBI to build a French leader in funeral services
The ROC-ECLERC funeral brand was created more than 25 years ago by Michel Leclerc, renowned for having fought and broken the local government monopoly in this industry.
ROC-ECLERC is the second largest player in the funeral sector in France. It is present throughout the country via a network of franchises, which includes nearly 500 agencies employing 2,000 people, and generating around €140 million of turnover.
The Euroknights IV fund, advised by Argos Soditic, joined forces with a team of professionals well known in the funeral sector to acquire this franchise.
The aim was to accelerate the growth of the brand in France and in Europe and continue with the gradual integration of a variety of services.
ROC-ECLERC thus intends to continue its development with the aim of soon reaching more than 650 points of sale in France. The Group will pursue the development envisaged in the French Overseas Territories (Dom-Tom) and in Europe. This expansion is tied to a clear appraisal of the evolution of the business, to the professionalism of the approach and to real dynamism in the management of the network.
ROC-ECLERC’s major concern is to propose cheaper services to families, while maintaining high quality and behaving with respect and in an ethical manner in all matters relating to the organization of funerals. The whole approach is based on the Group’s philosophy: make a smaller profit than competitors on the services proposed. This principle is applied to the commercialization of tombstones, to funeral insurance and to all services and products related to these activities.
Structure, development and build up
- Accelerated development through the opening of new points of sale
- Creation of a new centralised directory for network members
- Development of life assurance products
- Development of partnerships with banks, insurers and mutuels
- National TV advertising campaigns
- Network assistance and training centre
- Potential takeover opportunities
The current demographical evolution indicates that there are natural prospects for growth in the market. In parallel with the traditional funeral and tombstone services, the market trend is to develop more and more complementary services, such as insurance and psychological and legal support for families, which go beyond the classical services.
The acquisition of the ROC-ECLERC franchise is the first stage of a build-up in the French funeral sector which is highly fragmented after the leader PFG. Following the takeover of the ROC-ECLERC Group in April 2005, the group acquired SDDM (July 2005), Million Marais (October 2005), Eternité (May 2006) and CFF (April 2008).
« Argos has a real understanding of what is at stake in the business. Our financial shareholder-manager relationship is based strongly on loyalty which is very important in a partnership. Over and above the numbers, Argos takes an interest in the business and in the field which is reassuring. Meetings are constructive, the common objective of course being the growth of the Company. »
Sandrine Thiéfine – Présidente du Directoire