Press release

With the support of its new shareholder, Pechel is back on track and announces two investments from its latest vehicle: the Responsible Growth (ReG) Fund.

Following its acquisition by Sparring Capital in September 2021, Pechel has announced the launch of its Responsible Growth Fund (ReG Fund). This small-cap fund will invest €3m to €8m tickets by taking majority or minority stakes in SMEs committed to shifting their approach towards a more sustainable growth model.

It will be managed by a duo of Managing Partners:

– Seconded by Sparring Capital to lead the new project, Denis Catz has twenty years of experience in small and lower midcap private equity. Most notably, he was behind the investment in Propriétés Privées, which was recently divested. Denis will also be replacing Jean Gore as Chairman of Pechel.

– Joining Sparring after six years at Elsan’s Transformation division, Sandra Pezet has led major transformation projects within the clinic group, the French leader in private health services. She brings strong operational expertise to the team in charge of the ReG Fund. After starting her professional career as a consultant (EY), Sandra became an Associate, then a Principal at Natixis Private Equity and Gimv.

The ReG Fund was created based on the conviction that all companies must profoundly transform their operations and organisation to take into account social and environmental issues and to provide concrete solutions to these issues. The support provided to portfolio companies will give them the human and methodological resources to carry out this transformation and make it a driver of value creation. This support includes expert input and a proprietary methodology, and offers a unique combination of expertise in setting out and implementing both  sustainable performance programmes and ESG strategies: Eric Desgages and Frédéric Stoll, founders and former directors of the operational consulting firm Pop, will advise each of the fund’s portfolio companies in the definition and long-term implementation of their responsible growth trajectory. Alongside them, Nathanael Westphal, Sustainability Manager, will contribute his expertise in ESG subjects (decarbonisation program, implementation of certification, etc.), which he has acquired through supporting several SMEs in their transition.

Acquisition of a minority stake in Ulysse…

For its first investment, ReG Fund is taking a minority stake in the capital of Ulysse Group alongside the founder and the management team. MACSF (one of ReG Fund’s LPs and a historical partner of Sparring funds) is a co-investor in the transaction.

Founded in 1996 by Franck Vialle, Ulysse is the leading French network for transporting and supporting people with reduced mobility (PRM). The Group has a unique business model in France, combining its own network with a network of independent entrepreneurs operating under franchise agreements. Striving to provide a top-quality transportation service using specially designed vehicles and staffed by drivers/support workers who are specially trained to assist disabled and/or vulnerable people with their mobility needs has been at the very heart of Ulysse’s mission ever since its inception.

The Group offers three solutions: regular transport to ordinary schools, regular transport to specialised establishments and transport on demand. It also has a fleet of specialised vehicles available for hire and for sale and provides training for support staff. Based in Nice, Ulysse has a strong national presence thanks to its network of a hundred agencies, both owned and under franchise agreement.

In a fast-growing market driven by increasing efforts to include those with reduced mobility, Ulysse will capitalise on its historical expertise and its strong reputation to extend its geographical coverage and double the size of its network by providing its franchisees with even more services. The involvement of MACSF, the leading insurer for health professionals in France, will be an asset for strengthening the group’s position in the medico-social sector.

As part of the operation, Franck Vialle will retain his position as Chairman while gradually handing over the operational management of the Group to his son Tom.

“Ulysse is also a family story,” underlined Tom Vialle, 28. “Ulysse is like a little brother to me, a brother who I’ve seen be born and grow up.”

“Ulysse has become a collective adventure, bringing together a management duo that offers stability and momentum along with partners – Sparring Capital and MACSF – that will provide the means to achieve its ambitions,” continued Franck Vialle.

Denis Catz added“We are very pleased to have been chosen as partners by the Vialle family to support them in the next phase of the Ulysse adventure. The Group’s commitment to solidarity and responsibility, which place human and environmental issues at the core of the project, are also at the heart of the ReG project. We are convinced that Ulysse will be able to build on its solid foundation of values to enrich its value proposition and seize market opportunities thanks to a particularly powerful and unifying franchise development model.”

Key players:


Denis Catz, Adrien de La Bouillerie, Justine Roze


Olivier Benoist


Franck Vialle, Tom Vialle

Senior Lending Banks

Caisse d’Epargne Côte d’Azur : Jean-Christophe Calmels

Banque Populaire Méditerranée : Boris Mitelman

Sell-side M&A Adviser

N Finance : Guy Cohen, Maxime Dugast

Legal Adviser to investors


Corporate : Thomas Hermetet, Marina Lobell

Tax : Nicolas Privat

Financial Buyer Due Diligence

Exponens : Matthias Collot, Clément Ausanneau

Strategic Buyer Due Diligence

Neovian Partners : Patrick Richer, Théo Petitjean

Legal Adviser to the Management and Founders

PDGB : Roy Arakelian, Thierry Jestin

Legal Adviser to the Banks

Askesis : Irina Travadel

… and a majority investment in Groupe Louis Tellier

Pechel is continuing the deployment of its ReG Fund (Responsible Growth) vehicle by acquiring a majority stake in Groupe Louis Tellier. The transaction allows the exit of the current shareholders, UI Investissement, Société Générale Capital Partenaires, Equitis and Pierre Tellier, as well as investments from ReG Fund, acting as lead investor, and Bpifrance, alongside Jean-Philippe Molinari and his teams.

Groupe Louis Tellier is specialised in the manufacturing and distribution of kitchen and pastry utensils for professionals and private individuals. The group owns iconic brands such as Louis Tellier, created in 1947 and famous for its food mills, mandolins and raclette machines, and Gobel, created in 1887 and dedicated to the world of pastry-making.

With one of the largest catalogues on the market (over 3,000 references), Groupe Louis Tellier sells its products both in France and worldwide (35% of its revenue), particularly in North America. The group operates through specialised distributors for professionals and private customers, and has recently developed its e-commerce offering with the launch of two dedicated websites.

Groupe Louis Tellier has two French production sites, located in Joué-les-Tours and Argenteuil, both of which are recognised as Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Companies), a guarantee of the group’s craft and industrial expertise.

Pechel will support the management in developing the group in France and internationally, strengthening its leadership position in the B2B segment and continuing its growth in the B2C market. As part of a sustainable performance approach, the group will also work on optimising its production to improve the well-being of its employees and optimise the consumption of raw materials.

Jean-Philippe Molinari, CEO of Groupe Louis Tellier, said“We would like to thank UI Investissement and Société Générale for their support in the development of Groupe Louis Tellier. With the arrival of Pechel and BPI, the group will take its transformation to the next level and accelerate its growth, especially abroad, by highlighting French know-how and tradition in the manufacturing of kitchen utensils, which is the natural extension of France’s gastronomic excellence.”

Denis Catz added“With its iconic brands Louis Tellier and Gobel, the Group is representative of French industrial excellence and expertise. We, alongside Bpifrance, are very proud to support Jean-Philippe Molinari and his team in the next stage of the group’s development.”

Key players:


ReG Fund: Denis Catz, Tancrède Colas, Diane Perrin-Pelletier

Bpifrance: Fabrice Lemarchand, Axel Piriou, Hortense Jacon

Jean-Philippe Molinari


UI Investissement : Olivier Jarrousse, François Gressant, Edouard Vilmer 

Société Générale Capital Partenaires : Frédéric Coupet, Sherzod Zufarov 

Equitis Gestion 

Pierre Tellier

Senior Lending Banks

CIC : Rémi Bruyelle, Magali Morel, Laure Mathevet 

Crédit Agricole : Karine Lustiere, Alexandre Cuen

Sell-side M&A Adviser 

Invest Corporate Finance : Bertrand Le Galcher Baron, Alan Le Roux, Tristan d’Harcourt

Legal Adviser to investors 


Levine Keszler : Nicolas de Courtivron, Aude Manzo-Keszler


Arsene Taxand : Franck Chaminade, Noémie Bastien

Financial Buyer Due Diligence 

Exelmans : Stéphane Dahan, Manuel Manas, Maxime Grelou

Strategic Buyer Due Diligence

Neovian Partners : Patrick Richer, Théo Petitjean

ESG Due diligence/Sustainable performance advisory – Investors

Frédéric Stoll, Eric Desgages, Nathanael Westphal

Legal Adviser to the Management

B.Legal : Gaspard Brulé

Foley Hoag : Frédéric Cohen, Benjamin Bernard