Multiplying points of sale by 3, turnover by 16 and EBITDA by 18 in less than 2 years is possible.
Sogal did it with Cathay’s support.
Between America and China lies only one sliding door.
Georges Guérin, founder of Sogal, imported the concept of the sliding cupboard door from North America. He understood that it would soon supplant the traditional cupboard door in French homes. Within 10 years his idea took the company up to become the national leader in custom-made cupboards for trade networks and DIY stores. In 2001, to further accelerate the growth of the brand already present in more than 20 countries, a joint venture was created in China and a subsidiary launched near Canton.
On the 30th anniversary of the company, in April 2001, 25.5% of the French brand’s subsidiary Ningji, a company of 1,200 employees, was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, at RMB 10.75 per share.
In 2002, by the initiative of the management team, Sogal’s supply subsidiary Ningji becomes Suofeiya. In 2009, Sogal France approached Cathay to help it conquer the Chinese market, notably through closer collaboration with its new local brand. The young Chinese company quickly kept its promises: its 4 sites now produce benchmark top-range interior furnishings in the world’s largest domestic market.
Today Suofeiya has 3,000 sales outlets in China, works with the 50 largest real estate companies in the country, and designs interiors for millions of private apartments, hotels, business centres and corporate offices.
Who remembers the small town in Maine-et-Loire, La Jumelière to be precise, where the giant Suofeiya began?
Sogal with its 4 factories, three of which in the Vosges, Drôme and Réunion, is now part of the CMAI group, the Interior Design Manufacturing Company (Compagnie Manufacturière d ‘Aménagements Intérieurs).
Meanwhile Suofeiya is flying towards its global destiny.
And Cathay comes out of the cupboard with a multiple on investment of 42.5!
Cathay is at the heart of the world’s top 3 economies: by opening up our Chinese ecosystem to Sogal, we have turned a French leader into a world champion, allowing millions of Chinese people to fully experience the revolution of interior living and home furnishing.
Cathay’s and entrepreneurs’ minds meet in believing in the power of their ideas: without Georges Guérin’s vision, realized by importing the sliding cupboard door from North America, Suofeiya might never have seen the light of day. And without the enthusiasm and determination of the Cathay team in generating strategic synergies between cultures and continents, the IPO of Ningji, which led to Suofeiya’s exceptional expansion, would not have been as successful as it has been.
Cathay is at the crossroads of global trends transforming markets: the ideas that change the world are not made in China, made in France or made in the USA, they are made in Brains. We are here to connect them to each other and to the markets, through the capital we invest and through our cross-border culture and ecosystem spanning 4 continents.