MML invests in GPS, a global leader in the circular logistics market

Based in Bordeaux, France, Global Packaging Solutions (GPS) is a worldwide specialist in returnable packaging solutions, maintaining a network of reusable metal crates used to replace single-use wood and metal crates.

Founded in 1994 as a wooden crate and pallet provider, it began to move towards metal crates in the 2000s, leading the way in providing environmentally friendly solutions vs. mainly one-way / sole use alternatives.

Henry-Louis Mérieux, Managing Partner at MML, explains:

“In GPS we see a business that offers a sustainable and essential service as a critical element of clients’ supply chains. GPS plays an exciting role in the ever-growing circular economy, providing the infrastructure to allow clients to reuse its metal crates, rather than disposable wooden crates. Each metal crate will save an estimated 14 trees over its life, totalling more than 19 million trees for the current fleet. We are delighted to be investing alongside our co-investor, Metric Capital Partners, to accelerate the growth in GPS’ stock of crates and its global expansion. The alignment between value to clients and value to society as a whole makes this a very exciting growth story.”

GPS provides crates that form the backbone of its clients’ finished good logistics systems, on an entirely outsourced basis. This includes ensuring availability of clean, fit for purpose crates whenever a client needs them, requiring both a significant fleet and a complex logistics programme to collect the crates from the end customer, clean and repair as necessary, and manage its network closely, to ensure stocks of crates are balanced with need.

Andrew Honan, Head of Infrastructure at MML, adds:

“We are very excited to combine MML’s successful partnership investment approach with our value-added infrastructure strategy and help accelerate GPS’ already hugely impressive growth trajectory. Investing alongside founding Chairman, Benoit Arnaud, and CEO, Jean-Francois Baus, we see significant opportunity to apply our combination of private equity and infrastructure playbooks to deliver the next phase of growth in this now well-established distributed infrastructure business.”

Benoit Arnaud, Founder and Chairman of GPS, comments:

“MML clearly appreciated the quality of our team, the high degree of efficiency and the growth potential of the GPS Group. As a result of this partnership, GPS now has the means to achieve its ambitions, in full.”

The MML deal team consisted of Andrew Honan (Head of Infrastructure), Henry-Louis Merieux (Managing Partner), Charles le Texier (Investment Manager).

MML was advised by DC Advisory (Gregory Roquier), PWC Finance (Julien Honorat), PWC Strat& (Anne-Lise Glauser), Shearman & Sterling (Jeremy Scemama) and DLA Piper (Fanny Combourieu).

GPS was advised by Edmond de Rothschild (Arnaud Petit), Mazars (David Couturier), Advention (Alban Neveux) and Altair (Pierre Gramage).

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