Organic Growth Masterclass: The Reefer Group, backed by Miura Partners
Innovation around sustainability and ESG is one of the factors that have driven organic growth at semi-trailer business The Reefer Group, says Ignacio Moro, Investment Director of Miura Partners.
The Reefer Group (TRG) is a European leader in the production and commercialisation of high quality customised semi-trailers. The group is the result of a consolidation project between Sor Ibérica, a Spanish company specialising in the production and commercialisation of refrigerated semi-trailers, acquired in 2015, and Chereau, a French company based on the more luxury market, which Miura backed from 2016.
Sor and Chereau were both independent companies that were leading in their local markets. The TRG project aimed to create a European player, with a bigger market share, higher product offering and range. It was very important to maintain the brands of the individual companies, as they are both well-known names within their respective markets. Miura Partners held The Reefer Group for five years.
Ignacio Moro, Investment Director of Miura Partners, says: “Both of the teams were able to extract synergies between these two companies, mainly on costs of goods sold. Beforehand, the two companies might have seen each other as competition, whereas now, the two commercial teams work together to find the best tailored solutions for clients.
Over the investment period, we increased the workforce by about 15 per cent, which supported the capacity increases. As part of the management buyout, some of the founders retired. We reinforced the management team and brought in new talent, such as the CEO, the CFO, the commercial director, the operations director and both HR and legal directors. In addition, the group invested €30m to increase 40 per cent of its production capacity, creating 15 per cent additional jobs within the company.
Ignacio says: “The main element of growth was through being proactive about gaining new clients and distributions in new geographies. The two companies within the consolidation benefited one another through an increase in sales in continental Europe and the Eastern European market, such as Poland and Germany, where the core market was not very strong. When we acquired the company, TRG reached 30 per cent exports outside Spain and France and a consolidated market share of 20 per cent.”
SUSTAINABILITY & ESG
Ignacio says: “Another element of value creation was based on our ESG innovation. In 2017 and 2019, Chereau launched the category vehicle ‘NEXT’, which brought ergonomics, safety and better performance to users. These vehicles were a worldwide innovation breakthrough based on hydrogen technology, bringing to the market the first zero-emission hydrogen semi-trailer. Thanks to this technology, TRG found a clean energy solution with a very significant reduction in gas emissions and positioned itself at the front end, in terms of energy savings and energy transition.”