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Doing Business in France

doing business in france in 2023

A closer look at the French market

Why choose France as a business location?

Situated at the heart of Europe, with all European capitals just a few hours away, France is a veritable logistics hub for international companies.

In this article, discover the factors that make this country one of the most attractive destinations for doing business in 2023:

  • First of all, it’s the world’s sixth-largest GDP. With 68 million inhabitants, France has one of the highest market potentials.

  • Secondly, over the last ten years, France has been the leading country in Europe for attracting foreign investment. This represents 28,000 subsidiaries setting up in the country every year.

  • What’s more, it has remained Europe’s leading destination for FDI. With 1,259 projects announced, this economic powerhouse remains in first place, ahead of the United Kingdom (929 projects) and Germany (832 projects).

  • Last but not least, France benefited from a significant post-COVID-19 rebound, as the impact of the health crisis was greater in 2020 than the European average.

Doing business in France: key growth sectors

Over the past few decades, France has created some fifty competitiveness clusters that are at the heart of its economic development.

The main ones are: agro-technology, food and beverages, aeronautics and automotive, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, renewable energies.

Food industry

France is a major player in the agricultural and agri-food sector, with a number of competitive advantages: a large market with quality products; a highly integrated logistics sector and a solid, modern distribution system; and an innovative agri-food market.

In addition, agricultural production accounts for 3.5% of France’s GDP.

Aeronautics and space

Automotive

As a world leader in aerospace, French aircraft and helicopters are an international benchmark.
The industry’s success is underpinned by strong cooperation between industry and government.
France is home to three innovation clusters: Aerospace Valley, ASTech Paris Region and SAFE Cluster.

France leads the EU in light electric vehicles.
The French government is launching a major automotive investment plan to support innovation and the development of autonomous and hybrid vehicles.

Healthcare

Chemistry industry

European leader for patent applications in the healthcare sector, illustrating France’s excellence in medical research and development.
The country is also world leader in publicly-supported vaccines.

With sales of 68.4 billion euros, the chemical industry is an essential component of the French economy.
With added value of €18.6 billion in 2020 (including active pharmaceutical ingredients), the chemical industry accounts for over 8% of the total added value of French manufacturing industry.

Several French holding companies, including the Minakem group, the Novacap group and the Arkema group, have diversified into the production of fine organic chemicals for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and electronics industries.

Renewable energies

Multinationals have chosen France for its strong wind energy potential, access to marine renewables and solar energy portfolio.
French plants account for a third of Europe’s offshore wind energy capacity. With its immense coastline, France has a key role to play in this industry.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that France will have around 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.

Doing business in France successfully

When setting up a company in France, there are three important factors to consider:

  1. The first is to develop your local understanding of the market. This will enable you to define your go-to-market strategy.
  2. The second factor is to be local. You need to give priority to acquiring local subsidiaries or businesses. That way, you can take advantage of public and private opportunities.
  3. And the third is knowledge of French human resources regulations. It’s important to take environmental regulations into account to avoid product adaptation problems.

ALTIOS France supports you in your global expansion

If you’re ready to conquer the French market, you can count on our teams to support you in all your endeavors.

In fact, ALTIOS makes it easier for you to set up internationally, with local solutions for HR management and the subsidiary creation. We take care of all the administrative formalities involved in recruiting your employees and managing their salaries, as well as setting up and managing your local subsidiary.

We are involved in the day-to-day running of your structure, providing administrative, accounting, HR and tax services. These services enable you to reduce your costs and fixed overheads while benefiting from a professional, high-quality support structure, and all this with a single, committed partner at your side.

Here are three tips for success in France: the first is to think long-term. It takes two to three years to succeed in the French market, so strategy is essential.

Second, choose the right partner. In France, it's essential to know the market and define the right strategy to avoid regulatory problems.

And the third is to be a wine lover, perhaps, to be culturally in tune with your customers and partners!

ALTIOS France Managing Director
Doing Business in France

ALTIOS Corporate Finance supports Susty Wastes Solutions in joining forces with Polemecanic Group

Press Release – June 23th, 2023

Strengthening the position in Poland and France

  • In April 2023, the shareholders of Susty Wastes Solutions, a French company offering design and construction services for sorting lines for selective waste collection, and the shareholders of Polmecanic Group, a Polish group of companies specializing in the production, installation and service of waste recycling facilities, decided to merge their operations.
  • The newly formed SWS-PG group comprises 12 companies in France, Belgium, Germany and Poland, and a team of 300 specialists offering complete vertical integration of plant operation for selective waste collection, as well as, among others, the assembly of steel structures, modernization of industrial equipment and relocation of equipment and production lines.
  • The decision to join forces, a result of many years of successful cooperation between Susty Wastes Solutions and Polmecanic Group, will allow to fully exploit the synergies existing between the companies, and thus to further strengthen the SWS-PG group’s position in the European market.

Transaction supported by ALTIOS Corporate Finance

  • ALTIOS Poland’s Corporate Finance Department advised Susty Wastes Solutions on the transaction for the purchase of Polmecanic Group shares.
  • ALTIOS’ role was to prepare, in cooperation with the sellers’ advisors, the transaction documentation in accordance with the parties’ agreements and the requirements of Polish law.

Susty Wastes Solutions' testimonial

We are proud of this wonderful development and of the opportunities which are opening for all of us. The relationship we built several years ago between Poland and France was already strong, and now it’s even stronger!
We’re excited to be able to unite our values, share our experiences and multiply our offers to serve our present and future customers even better.
We would like to thank our bank and legal partners for their trust, and also ALTIOS for its precious assistance.

Georges CHALAIN, General Director of Susty Wastes Solutions

Polmecanic Group's testimonial

It’s very satisfying to be able to bring two dynamic groups together in this way. On the one hand, it seems to me a natural consequence of our successful cooperation. After all, we have so much in common: business approaches, values and aspirations. We also complete each other very well in terms of branch competence.
On the other hand, I believe that there are new business opportunities, new paths of development ahead of us as well as new opportunities to exchange experiences and increase knowledge.
Therefore, I am not only proud of what we have achieved so far, but also very excited thinking about future challenges.


Adam Bokwa, CEO of Polmecanic Group

ALTIOS Corporate Finance's testimonial

“It is a true pleasure to support a transaction made between people who have known each other and worked together for years; a transaction that is another step in the development of specialized entities operating in the essential and rapidly growing waste recycling market in Europe, especially since it involves companies from countries that are particularly close to me: France and Poland. ”

Zdzislaw Dominik, Vice-president of ALTIOS Polska

Participants

Buyer’s advisors:

  • Legal: Pierre-Yves MILIN (attorney, Cabinet Milin)
  • Altios Corporate Finance: Zdzislaw Roland DOMINIK (Vice-president Altios Poland) / Magdalena FRAILE (Senior Project Manager) / Anne AUDRAIN (International Account Manager) / Piotr NOWORYTA (Senior Legal Adviser)

Sellers’ advisors:

  • Legal: Katarzyna WILAMOWSKA (attorney-at-law)
    Łukasz KRAWCZYK (attorney-at-law, SKR Stelmach Krawczyk Romanow Legal Office)

ALTIOS: Since 1991, the group offers international market expansion solutions to companies operating and investing internationally. ALTIOS supports you with everything you need, from nurturing your growth strategy to your international acceleration by entering dynamic markets, to set up and operate your foreign branch with everyday compliance administration – HR, accounting, tax… – through to strategic cross-border acquisition.

www.altios.com


Contact Press : Alexandre Kaplan, M&A Director, a.kaplan@altios.com

Savino Del Bene S.p.A.

Altios Accompanies Savino Del Bene S.p.A. Expansion in France

Language and cultural norms can be a major barrier to acquisitions. However, Altios' innovative M&A approach meant we could grow our presence in France and ensure a smooth transition of Tramar and Alpinea Shipping within our business structure and corporate culture.

Gianni Bachini
Savino Del Bene’s Managing Director of Spain, Portugal, and France

Challenges

  • In the early ‘90s, Savino Del Bene opened its first office in Paris, France, as part of the company’s international expansion that was begun in the 1950s by the founder’s son Alessandro Del Bene. The company continued to expand in France, later opening offices in Lyon and Bordeaux.

  • “It became evident that for us to grow our business in France, we needed to have a strong presence in the two major maritime ports, Le Havre and Marseille,” said Gianni Bachini, Savino Del Bene’s Managing Director of Spain, Portugal, and France.

  • “We knew the fastest approach to expansion in the French marketplace would be through acquisition.” But to do so would mean finding the right partner and, just as importantly, meeting complex French legal requirements. “We needed to think the French way,” commented Mr. Bachini.

Solutions

  • After successfully acquiring Alpinea Shipping in October 2021, Savino Del Bene sought Altios Corporate Finance‘s help again to further its expansion in France and Europe.
  • The Altios team began the second M&A project for Savino Del Bene by conducting a complete market analysis and shortlisting potential acquisition candidates.
  • Following the initial successful introduction meeting, Altios led the next steps in the M&A project.

Results

  • By the end of 2021, Savino Del Bene had grown its revenue in the French market by more than €50 million through the two successful acquisitions. “By bringing Tramar and Alpinea Shipping within our family, we could expand our European network and footprint throughout France and strategic maritime ports,” said Mr. Bachini.

  • Throughout the two acquisitions, Altios developed a close working relationship with the team at Savino Del Bene. This strong partnership approach ensured all parties in the M&A process were part of the process.
  • Language and cultural norms can be a major barrier to acquisitions. However, Altios’ innovative M&A approach meant we could grow our presence in France and ensure a smooth Tramar and Alpinea Shipping transition within our business structure and corporate culture,” commented Mr. Bachini.

Want to know more about Savino Del Bene’s experience and its international development?

Visit the website

Company Profile

Founded in 1899

Headquarters in Florence, Italy

International shipping and logistics support services

Operating in more than 60 countries

5,300 employees across 306 offices

Annual revenue €4.5 billion

logistic maritime