Acquisition of Naville in French-speaking Switzerland to expand Valora's kiosk and convenience-store business to nationwide scale

10.11.2014 / 08:00 /

  • Comparable business models make for significant synergy potential
  • Attractive outlets at heavily frequented sites
  • Major potential arising from one of region's main logistics platforms
  • Wealth of expertise and strong management team at Naville
  • Purchase includes attractively located Geneva property

In signing the contract on 09.11.2014 to purchase Naville (LS Distribution Suisse), the leading integrated small-outlet retailer in French-speaking Switzerland, whose registered offices are in Geneva, Valora will expand its kiosk and convenience-store business to a nationwide scale. The joint vendors are Lagardère Services, a Lagardère Group subsidiary, and Tamedia Publications Romandes, a Tamedia Group company. Naville operates an outlet network encompassing more than 175 units. It also has one of the main logistics platforms in French-speaking Switzerland. The firm's Geneva headquarters, which Valora is also purchasing as part of this transaction, are located on a much sought-after site in La Praille.

Naville (LS Distribution Suisse) expects to generate some CHF 340 million in net revenues in 2014, on which it is projecting EBITDA of some CHF 16 million. The enterprise-value (EV) purchase price of CHF 90 million, which includes the headquarters building, equates to an EV/EBITDA multiple of around 6x. Synergy benefits will have a significant positive EBIT impact from 2016 and will be fully realised no later than 2017. Valora will finance the transaction from available cash reserves and its existing syndicated-loan facilities. Valora's financial flexibility to carry out further investment and additional growth initiatives will remain intact after this transaction has been executed. Completion of the contract requires approval from Switzerland's competition regulator.

Naville's retail business comprises a focused network encompassing some 175 outlets. These are operated by well-established local agents with excellent knowledge of the specific needs of the regional market.

Naville's logistics platform is the leading press distribution hub in the region. This, plus its distribution of convenience-store and kiosk products, gives it a strong market position. Naville supplies well over 1,200 retail outlets in Switzerland, so that this transaction also provides significant scope for expanding the scale of other service offerings, such as pick-up/drop-off facilities for packages.

The Naville integration will not require any significant investments by Valora and should be largely completed during 2015. Combining the two businesses will create significant long-term synergies in purchasing, promotions and outlet supply. There is also scope to merge certain specific central functions. Furthermore, Naville's strong existing management team will significantly enhance Valora's expertise.

Michael Mueller, the Valora Group's CEO, sums up the transaction as follows, “This acquisition underscores Valora's strategic focus on small-outlet retail. It will also provide Valora with a unique nationwide network of outlets at attractive, heavily frequented locations. Combining the best that each company has to offer will generate lasting value for Valora and its business partners.”

Dag Rasmussen, the CEO of Lagardère Services, adds “I am delighted that Naville will be able to pursue its successful trajectory with the leading Valora Group. This transaction ensures a positive outlook for the company and its staff. I am sure that combining the two companies in this way will prove very beneficial to all stakeholders, be they publishers, business partners, landlords or customers.”

For Jean-Yves Leroux, the CEO of LS Distribution Suisse (Naville), a key point is that “Naville's position will be strengthened by joining forces with Valora.”