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Mid Finance leaves Profinpar to join forces with Meilleurtaux

By 08/03/2023November 29th, 2023News

L’Echo, le 8 mars 2023. Michel Lauwers.

The Walloon credit broker will continue to grow within the French Meilleurtaux group, in its first international operation.

Walloon credit and insurance broker Mid Finance is leaving the Profinpar holding company to become part of the French Meilleurtaux group. Based in Fléron and founded by Michel David in 2007, Mid Finance offers consumer credit, mortgages and insurance. Last year, it posted sales of around €10 million, up 33%, and employs 34 people. It has doubled in size over the last three years.

Profinpar, a holding company for entrepreneur-investors, became the company’s largest shareholder in 2018. It supported the company’s growth for five years. It is now handing over to Meilleurtaux, which has a broader range of activities. Although the amount of the transaction has not been disclosed, the market is talking in terms of some €70 million. This is enough to generate a handsome capital gain for Profinpar and its founder, who remained a shareholder.

Meilleurtaux offers finance, insurance and investments to individuals. Its ambition is to become the benchmark marketplace in these areas “serving the French and their purchasing power”. Mid Finance is its first acquisition outside France. “This operation marks the first step in Meilleurtaux’s European development”, emphasises its chairman Guillaume Autier.

Founded in 1999, Meilleur Taux has been owned by the American investment fund Silver Lake since 2020. It owns 95% of the company, with the managers and directors sharing the remainder.


Five questions to Guillaume Autier, Chairman of Meilleurtaux

Why did you start your international expansion in Belgium?

We looked at different geographies with the idea of finding a player that was similar to us. Our decision was not to start in Belgium, but with Mid Finance, whose model is very similar to that of Meilleurtaux. Like us, Mid Finance has a presence in several business lines, with effective cross-selling across them. The company is also highly developed on the web, maintains in-depth professional relationships with numerous partners and deploys a phygital model (physical point of sale with a digital pathway, editor’s note). Mid Finance is very close to us.

Is this the start of your European career?

We’re quite opportunistic. We don’t want to make an acquisition in Germany or Spain at any price, but if we identify a player that looks like us and with whom we can generate synergies, and that we can also do something for with our platform and our data know-how, we can seize this opportunity. We have the time and the capacity.

Does “capacity” refer to Silver Lake, your shareholder for the past three years?

Of course, that’s one of the elements. Mid Finance is our third acquisition since the fund became a shareholder. We bought two French players in 2021, Active Assurance and, with the support of our shareholder. For Mid Finance, this will not be necessary, as we will be financing the operation from our own funds.

What does Meilleurtaux represent in terms of jobs and revenue?

Some 2,500 people work for us in France, including those who operate on our behalf via a network of franchised agents. These account for around half of our workforce. We have hubs in Paris, Reims, Lille, Le Mans, Le Havre and Aix-en-Provence, as well as 360 sales outlets (agents). We don’t publish our sales figures, but over the last six years we have recorded organic growth averaging 20% a year.

With your support, will Mid Finance be expanding into Flanders?

Yes, that’s one of the growth drivers we’ve identified. We still need to define a brand strategy for this market. Mid Finance’s other levers for growth will be the pursuit of the business model with vertical lines of business, optimisation of the customer journey and synergies with Meilleurtaux’s technology platform and data tools.