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IPEM Cannes: what factoring strategy for investment funds in 2024?

Read the interview with Maxime Bertin and Thibaut Robet at IPEM
What is the use of factoring for equity investments and investment funds?
What recommendations would you make to an investor in 2024?
What recommendations would you make to an investor in 2024?

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Interview with Thibaut Robet and Maxime Bertin by CFNEWS

Transcript of the interview:

Aurore: Hello Maxime Bertin. Hello Thibaut Robet.

Maxime Bertin: Hello Aurore.

Thibaut Robet: Hello Aurore.

A.: You're respectively the Factoring Director and the Managing Director at Fibus. We mainly know Fibus for its consulting expertise in factoring. Could you remind us what purpose factoring serves for investments and funds?

T.R.: Factoring is simple: it's the cheapest way to finance the growth of your investment, wether for organic growth or external growth. It's the biggest short-term financing solution so easily available for B2B firms.

M.B.: In concrete terms, it helps a firm get financing that amounts to two months of revenue. For example, a firm that makes 30 million euros in annual revenue can expect around 5 million euros in financing. In the same way, a firm that makes 3 billion euros in annual revenue can expect around 500 million euros in financing.

A.: Those are high levels of financing.

M.B.: Yes, it reaches very high levels.

A.: You're here at IPEM for the first time. Why do we now have this pleasure?

M.B.: Well, we've been working with investment funds for around 15 years now. And they've often invited us to come here, telling us it's place where we should be to promote our services. So, we decided to come this year and we hope to meet as many funds as possible to tell them about the benefits of factoring, both for them and their investments.

A.: 2023 was a tough year for private equity. In factoring, what's changed?

T.R.: Banks now need to pool risks. Whereas before you'd get a factoring line with a single firm in factoring, today you've got to pool them. That can become complex. And our role is to manage that complexity. So the idea is to carry on making factoring projects simple.

M.B.: But what's not changed is that the appetite is still there. It's still a highly attractive form of financing as its offers margins between 1,5% and 2% above the index. So it's of course much more competitive than equity or any other form of debt.

A.: So a paradigm change as highlighted the added value of Fibus, hasn't it?

M.B.: Yes, we were often contacted by investors last year. The difference with previous years was that our dealings used to involve acquisitions a lot. Last year, we worked with many firms that were already equipped to help them optimise and renegotiate their programme.

A.: And what recommendations would you give an investor in 2024 looking ahead?

M.B.: Our main recommendation to them would be to plan for factoring at an early stage in their acquisition process and to get in touch with us early on so we can quickly tell them about the resources that the firm can expect thanks to factoring.

T.R.: Yes, beacuse it's very important to plan for factoring well before an acquisition. It can be quite frustrating to realise, when the factoring has been decided on, that the debt documents, for example, do not allow for factoring. So you really have to plan for factoring in advance. We strongly recommend foresight.

A.: So foresight is the watchword in regard to factoring in 2024. Thank you Maxime. Thank you Thibaut.

M.B.: Thanks a lot.

T.R.: Thank you Aurore.

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