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What are the trends in the markets for industrial cleaning services?


The industrial sector is a major source of activity for cleaning companies. However, this is only possible if they have the internal capacity to meet the specific requirements of this type of customer. The market is very dynamic and offers good prospects for the most innovative and structured operators. Experts from AURIS Finance, a consulting firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, give you their analysis.

As is the case with large companies, few industrial companies carry out their own cleaning activities. To keep their sites clean, they tend to use external service providers. This outsourcing is on the increase: “Outsourcing is on the increase because manufacturers are focusing on their core business,” explains Grégory Lachery of the Onet group to the magazine Services, a monthly dedicated to the hygiene, cleaning and multi-service sectors. The demand from large groups ranges from routine maintenance through multi-year contracts for floor cleaning in workshops, warehouses and tertiary buildings, as well as specific cleaning services for machine tools, such as cryogenic or high-pressure cleaning. In addition to these long-term contracts, some of which run for several decades, there are also exceptional services and urgent requests, depending on the customer’s needs.

Strong outsourcing potential

In France, several cleaning groups now specialise in industrial services, such as the NSI group, with 1,300 employees and a turnover of €25 million, the Propreté 2000 group (374 employees and a turnover of €9 million), the Netman group (700 employees and a turnover of €42 million) and the giant Onet, which has 68,000 employees in nine countries and a turnover of €1.9 billion. 90% of Netman’s business is now based in industrial cleaning through four divisions: nuclear, logistics, ultra-cleaning and services industry.

High value-added services

The more advanced the techniques used, the more specific the industrial equipment and the higher the rates charged. However, there is no question of improvising as a machine tool cleaning specialist. For professionals in the sector, the initial investment is significant. Training staff and owning specific machines are major sources of cost. In addition to these financial investments, there is also the need to comply with regulations. Therefore, certifications such as Mase, a safety management reference system, provide real added value for operators wishing to give quality support to their customers.

Towards greater concentration

In recent years, there has been a trend towards concentration in the industrial cleaning sector. In order to attract this specific clientele and to acquire significant investment capacity, groups are placing themselves under the supervision of funds and acquiring companies that are competitors or have innovative know-how. For example, giant ONET began its inorganic growth strategy in 2000 by merging with industrial cleaning specialist Entreprise Ferroviaire Safen. A few years later, Onet acquired AXXIS Conseil and then SINTEO, an engineering and consulting company.

AURIS Finance at your side

Today, small and medium-sized industrial cleaning companies are highly sought after by larger companies in the sector looking to expand their market share or acquire new expertise. They may also be the target of private equity funds that support their investment efforts with the aim of making a capital gain on resale. AURIS Finance has a team dedicated to the cleaning and industrial services sector. Our experts will support you throughout your acquisition or sale project.

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#Environmental Services, Cleaning & Multiservices