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 Special Report The French connection

Neil Nixon visits Rennes in France, home of Groupe Samsic - the holding company behind the UK growth and success of Regent Samsic.

ternational business bring to a company operating solely within the UKmarket? “We are a ‘glocal’ business - all our customers across Europe have the same requirements so we can learn a lot fromeach other, whilst appreciating cultural differences. The key difference in the UK fromour other markets is that themarket is verymature, and therefore needs a considered approach to create points of difference and a worth- while value proposition. The Regent name has significant traction within the UKmar- ket - we have added further credibility, ref- erences and resources with the addition of the Samsic name to the brand.” John Critchell, jointmanaging director of

Regent Samsic, echoed the importance of the French company’s support: “We have a huge resource in Groupe Samsic - not just financial, but in terms of expertise and ref- erence points. It enables us to be all things to all people - we can be a small, local company or a largemulti-national business depending on the requirements of the con- tract and the customer.We have the free- domto be very flexible and reactive.” How will Groupe Samsic financial support

Regent Samsic, the UK based provider of cleaning, security, and complementary fa- cilitymanagement support services, has grown significantly in recent years. It now operates on over 1700 sites across the UK occupied bymore than 750 clients, operat- ing in the education, retail, commercial of- fice, foodmanufacturing, industrial, local authority, leisure, and healthcare sectors. Described as having ‘international strength and local focus’, just how important is the backing fromFrance?

Groupe Samsic

In the UK you would be forgiven for not hav- ing heard of Groupe Samsic. In France it is a very different story, with Samsic being a household name. The company was founded in 1986 by Christian Roulleau, who stillmanages the business today. Based in Rennes, Samsic is already one of Europe’s largest business service providers and France’s second largest cleaning company. It currently has over 20,000 customers, over 70,000 employees, and an annual turnover of approximately Euro 1.5 billion. All this in under 30 years - the remarkable achieve- ment of a very driven individual. Christian Rolleau, the company’s founder

and president, said: “Service diversification has been central to our growth, as has the acquisition of like-minded contractors in other territories. Since I established the company, Samsic has acquired almost 100 established businesses and launched ap- proximately 320 new companies of its own to service the needs of our clients in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Por- tugal, and the UK.” This expansion continues apace, with Monsieur Roulleau currently focusing on

12 l C&M l NOVEMBER 2014 l

Above, the impres- sive HQ building of Groupe Samsic in Rennes, France.

Below, Christian Roulleau, founder and president of Groupe Samsic.

Eastern Europe as a potentialmarket, as well as organic growth in Germany and the Netherlands.

Regent Samsic

Olivier Payen is the international president of Groupe Samsic, the person responsible for the relationship with the teamat Regent Samsic in the UK.What benefits can an in-

be used in the UK? “We prefer to see or- ganic growth fromour overseas businesses but in amarket asmature as the UK this is not easy,” said Olivier Payen. “We are al- ways happy to consider appropriate acqui- sitions to boost our activities, and have the crucial funds to execute this plan when ap- propriate. Ourmanagement teamin the UK is very focused on our goals - to see an an- nual growth in turnover and profit - and we are here to assist themwhere we can.” John Critchell expanded on the UK com-

pany’s recipe for success: “Working to stated aims and objectives, our growth has also been sustained by our policy of adopt- ing industry innovations and for our highly structured training processes both in- house and externally sourced. That’s why, for our clients, Regent Samsic has become the number one ‘go-to’ solution for site service needs spanning cleaning, security, wastemanagement and recycling, interior plants, landscaping and groundsmainte- nance, pest control, washroomconsum- ables, feminine hygiene,mechanical and electricalmaintenance, catering, andmuch more. In fact, our service offering is contin- ually expanding, as is our customer base.” Could the original Regent Cleaning busi-

ness have reached its current level without the support and investment fromthe French parent? “We operate in a very com- petitive, crowdedmarket,” said John Critchell. “Our parent company gives us the resource and confidence to compete with the biggest and the best. Pan-European contracts are now becoming a reality, and the Groupe Samsic European network puts us in pole position to win this emerging business. Ourmission statement is clear - to be themarket leading andmost suc- cessful company within the UK facilities sector, achieved through service excellence and innovation and by employing and train- ing the best people within the industry. I am confident that the support of Groupe Sam- sic will assist us in achieving this goalmore completely, and in less time, than would otherwise have been possible.”

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