Colruyt Group IT’s advice and expertise lead to successful acquisition of Degrenne Distribution
There are a multitude of factors to consider when making an acquisition. It was no different for Degrenne Distribution, the French retailer that was recently acquired by Colruyt Group. But what role did our IT department play in that process?
Supporting convenience stores in France in their growth
The family business Degrenne Distribution is a major regional player in local trade in France. The distribution group supplies some 1,800 local stores with dry, fresh and frozen products. Its activities perfectly complement those of Codifrance, also part of Colruyt Group. The investment is part of Colruyt Group’s ambition to support the growth of the dynamic convenience store market in France.
Whenever Colruyt Group decides to investigate a potential investment in a company, a multidisciplinary core team is composed for examining the various aspects. Colruyt Group IT was part of that team and tasked to provide input on the health of Degrenne’s IT landscape, thus enabling the core team to determine whether investments are required at short or mid-long term. A valuable learning opportunity for Victor Cornelus, IT management trainee. He was involved in the process and took on a wide range of responsibilities. One of the fixed steps: an in-depth interview with the IT responsible at seller’s side based on an extensive questionnaire that we ask to fill out first.
Victor could rely on guidance and coaching from Khalid Achbouni, IT manager at Codifrance. He visited the French retailer to take stock of the situation. The conclusion was that, although the IT environment needs a thorough overhaul, it was robust enough to continue running the business in the near future. Via a strict data stream Khalid provided Victor with his insights. This resulted in a smooth collaboration, even though they worked from two different countries.
Next steps for Degrenne Distribution’s IT environment
Kristof Schacht, division manager Emerging Businesses, is satisfied with the performance of his team members: “We had some challenging aspects to this acquisition but it has been one of my most favourite ones so far. Even though Khalid and Victor did not know each other before, they seamlessly joined together to work on this case and delivered very qualitative IT insights.” And the collaboration does not stop with the signing of the agreement. We gladly continue to support Khalid in diving deeper into Degrenne’s IT environment.”