In September, Apricum opened its Paris office and we spoke to Director Alex Metz, head of the office and lead for our green mobility sector to learn more about the new site and how it fits into Apricum’s growth strategy.
1. Why has Apricum decided to open a Paris office?
Paris is Apricum’s fourth office location after Berlin, London, and Dubai while France is Europe’s third largest economy after Germany and the UK; therefore, it represents a logical expansion step for Apricum.
France boasts leading companies in each of the segments that Apricum serves – from energy equipment manufacturers, system integrators, energy companies, and project developers, to climate tech scale-ups, private equity, and infrastructure funds focused on the energy transition. Having a local presence in Paris will help us better serve our France-based clients, and act as a conduit to the right expertise within Apricum’s other offices.
France will need to accelerate its energy transition in the coming decade. It has set a 40% GHG emissions reduction target by 2030 vs. 1990 levels; but to date, it has achieved less than a 25% reduction. This means that wind installed capacity needs to double from circa 20 GW today to 40 GW by 2030, and that solar PV installed capacity needs to triple from a little over 15 GW today to over 45 GW. Having supported both industries for the past 15 years in other leading markets such as Germany, Apricum is well positioned to help France achieve these goals.
“Having a local presence in Paris will help us better serve our France-based clients and act as a conduit to the right expertise within Apricum’s other offices.”
– Alex Metz, director and head of Apricum’s Paris office
2. What services will the Paris office offer?
On the strategy consulting side, our services range from strategic roadmapping, go-to-market strategy, market sizing and mapping, to business model assessment and equity story development. If you’re an equipment manufacturer looking to develop a new product, we can technically and commercially assess the viability of your new product and devise the most appropriate go-to-market strategy. If you’re a digital energy player looking to build an equity story, we can bring the right blend of industry expertise and business acumen required for the exercise.
On the transaction advisory side, our services include M&A, fundraising, joint ventures, and buy- and sell-side due diligence. If you’re a fast-growing scale-up looking to raise more funds, we can identify and negotiate a terms sheet with the right investor. If you’re a private equity fund looking to deploy more capital into renewables, we can leverage our network of project developers and asset managers to find the best fit for your investment criteria.
And obviously, we can do all this in English or French.
3. What exciting trends do you see in green mobility in France?
France has been a pioneer in the automotive sector for a long time. It created one of the first electric vehicles (EVs) in the 19th century. Today, two of the top 5 best-selling car brands in Europe are headquartered here. Circa 12% of passenger car sales are battery EVs today – only a few percentage points behind another leading market, California, where I lived and worked for the past five years. Electrification of vans and trucks is still lagging, even if it represents a major GHG emissions reduction opportunity – France isn’t the only country struggling with this segment.
EV charging infrastructure is where I see the largest opportunity. As we get to a few million EVs on the road by 2030, we’ll need to deploy hundreds of thousands of public charging ports across the country. Established companies such as TotalEnergies are positioning themselves as multi-fuel retailers, deploying fast chargers at existing gas stations. Pure players such as Electra and Fastned are entering the market with key differentiators addressing EV driver pain points, such as booking in advance and accessing a charger behind a gate. This fast-growing market is attracting capital, with several Paris-based private equity and infrastructure funds adding EV charging infrastructure as a new asset class to their portfolio.
4. What will the profile of the Paris team look like?
Most of Apricum’s employees have lived and worked in multiple countries – or simply work and live in a different country from the one they were born in. The Paris office will aim to keep broadening this diversity of cultures and ways of thinking, which eventually benefits our clients. We’ll be recruiting for different skills and levels, with the same high standards as Apricum’s other offices. Strategy consultants and investment bankers who would like to solely focus on the energy transition are an obvious fit; bringing in international experience is another differentiator we look for.
To find out more about our services or if you’re interested in joining the team, please contact us.