STIF prepares its IPO to grow in a new market – Le Journal des Entreprises – Maine-et-Loire
With its IPO scheduled for next July on the Euronext Growth market, the Saint-Georges-sur-Loire company STIF, for French Industrial Sheet Metal Company, wants to reach a higher dimension. Owned 20% by its founding president Manuel Burgos and 70% by his son José, now general manager, this family business intends to remain so despite the opening of its capital, operation that will allow it to grow in a market on which it laid its foundations in 2022 only, but which gives it a glimpse of great prospects: the security of battery energy systems.
“For a dozen years, explains Manuel Burgos, we have been producing anti-explosion panels for industrial installations such as silos in the agri-food sector. For some years now, we have also been manufacturing valves and non-return valves, which prevent fire to spread. Over the past year, we have discovered a new market, that of electrical energy storage units, which must also be protected from explosions on the same principle.”
The system developed by the Angers SME reduces the effects of the explosion by releasing the blast to the outside. It is now sold all over the world and represents 30% of the company’s activity in France, but 50% of that of the group, STIF also has a production unit in China of around 25 people, intended for local market. With the opening to electrical energy storage groups, the Saint-Georges-sur-Loire SME aims to achieve 80% of its activity in the long term with its anti-explosion systems.
To accelerate and keep its head start, the company therefore wishes to raise funds, by selling between 15 and 20% of its capital. for a range between 12 and 18 million euros. The Angevin company, created in 1984, is one of those which is little talked about: initially established on a niche market, that of buckets for handling bulk goods, 80% for the agri-food sector, it supplies manufacturers of equipment. It generates approximately 70% of its business from exports, with a presence in 80 countries. With 150 employees, including 120 in Saint-Georges-sur-Loire on a 13,000 square meter site, it has, in addition to its Chinese unit, a sales office in Spain, another which also assembles parts in Indonesia and one in Singapore, with a local partner, for the Asian market. In steady growth, the group achieved 32 million euros in turnover in 2022, up 17%. 26 million euros were made by the French unit, which exports its products at 70%. Over the years, the company has automated its processes, going so far as to produce nearly 2 million parts per year. It then added to the manufacture of buckets the supply of straps for their installation then the manufacture of another product, developed in-house: “We have developed a coupling to assemble two tubes with a simple technology, adds José Burgos, and we are today world leaders.” Until the launch of the elements against dust explosions a dozen years ago, the company developed in these two axes, the buckets on the one hand and the fittings on the other.
A factory in the United States
At the same time, STIF has continuously invested since its creation to improve its industrial tool, and thus maintain its world leadership in its various activities. The company has an in-house design office of 6 people. Two years ago, it invested nearly 3 million euros to fit out its factory in Saint-Georges-sur-Loire.
Other investments, not yet quantified, are envisaged for the hoped-for development of anti-explosion elements for battery energy storage containers, called BESS (battery energy storage system). The company is already working for a client in this area and others, big international names, have approached it. “We meet all the standards in force and we are one step ahead of the competition, specifies José Burgos. The market is colossal, there are currently 75 gigawatts installed worldwide, needs are estimated at 410 gigawatts in 2030 and 1,000 gigawatts in 2040.”
“We meet all the standards in force and we are one step ahead of the competition”
The most important manufacturers of battery energy storage containers are currently in China, the United States and Europe. STIF has therefore planned to serve the European market with its production unit in Saint-Georges-sur-Loire and China with its Chinese factory, which already manufactures elements of this type, which it wants to strengthen to reach a workforce of forty employees. For the United States, the Angers company plans to launch a new production unit in Texas at the end of 2023, with around fifteen people at the start, which it will set up with a commercial partner who is already working with it. “We will thus have three pillars, specifies Manuel Burgos in Europe, China and the United States.”
25% growth per year targeted
To finance this development, STIF, which until now has reinvested its profits a lot and has called on bank support over the course of its history, therefore took the decision at the start of 2023 to open up its capital. She is accompanied in this by Louis Thannberger, president of IPO N°1 and specialist in SME IPOs: “STIF needed to put its capital in motion. This fundraising will make it possible to finance the acceleration, both the production tool and marketing development. The objective is to achieve average growth of 25% each year to reach a turnover of at least 80 million euros in 2027.” In addition to investments and marketing development, STIF plans to increase its shareholding in its Singapore unit to 70%, against 51% today, by buying back 19% of the shares currently held by its local partner. The company intends to achieve 80% of its business in the next few years with its explosion protection products, by continuing to grow in its niche markets for buckets and fittings, which should represent around 20%.