Entrepreneur Paredes wants to become the European leader in professional hygiene

Paredes wants to become the European leader in professional hygiene

Distributor of professional hygiene products, masks, gloves, caps, detergents, disinfectants, Paredes manufactures its own wadding, transformed into disposable hand towels or examination sheets. Or 20% of its turnover, which reached 213 million euros in 2021.

Today, the Genas company, near Lyon, is expanding its production of liquid office soap. It will manufacture 100 tonnes, the equivalent of half of its sales of this product. The range will be completed in the fall with a disinfectant soap for healthcare establishments – 40% of its customers – and a degreasing soap for industry, its second market ahead of local authorities and cleaning companies.

Return to profitability

“We ran out of products in 2020, while having the largest stock in the profession. We have to secure our supplies”, underlines its president, François Tguilleur, who also plays the made in France card.

“We are never the cheapest in the markets. We win them through the quality of our offer and our CSR commitment,” he says. Its arguments: 55% water savings for four years, 70% waste recovery, a call center of 100 non-relocated people and an employee shareholding plan which convinced 74% of the 600 French employees in July 2021.

Co-shareholder since 2018 with the founding family, whose name the company bears, François Thuilleur projects 500 million euros in turnover in 2030. He bases his ambitions on renewed profitability, while Paredes lost 9.5 million euros when he arrived in 2017.

The manager is counting on 5% annual organic growth thanks to diversification into soaps, rapid development in Brittany, where he is building a new 6,000 square meter warehouse for 6 million euros, to store three times more pallets, and to the new website. Commissioned less than a year ago, this one million euro investment with Microsoft “already centralizes 16 % of orders, including 15% from customers that our sales representatives had never seen”.

150 to 200 million euros of acquisitions

Above all, François Thuilleur is betting on the good financial health of the company, “with low debt”, to achieve “150 to 200 million euros of acquisitions”. It targets foreign distributors to diversify a clientele that is 90% French and 10% Italian, Paredes having a factory in Tuscany.

“In our sector, there is no European champion. It will be French or German,” he predicts. Bpifrance supports it with the Build-Up co-investment program to achieve this objective. Which supposes for Paredes, already number one in health, to overtake the British Bunzl, ahead of him in France in the distribution of hygiene products, all segments combined.

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