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Interview: Frédéric Bernet, Sequana

Director of Finance and Treasury, Sequana

“It’s no longer desirable to rely on just one banking credit”


Could you tell us about the type of work Sequana does?

Sequana is a stationery group encompassing two areas of activity, each of which is the leader in its field. Antalis, the European number one for paper and packaging distribution, has a turnover of €2.8bn with 230,000 clients and 6,000 employees. Its two main markets to date are editors and/or publishers, and companies and the civil service. Antalis is actively expanding in two other fields, notably through acquisitions: visual communications and packaging – that is to say, secondary packaging – both important markets which are growing but very fragmented. With a turnover of €1.5bn, Arjowiggins groups together production activities across 25 sites, just over a third of which are in France. Arjowiggins is the world leader in high quality paper, bank note paper and tracing paper. It is also the leading producer of recycled graph paper in terms of volume, and the European leader in the green paper market.

With a presence in 44 countries, Sequana is very international: 87% of turnover comes from outside France – Great Britain alone accounts for 17%, and 74% of the workforce is employed outside France. The company’s long-term strategy involves refocusing on distribution, with the industrial division concentrating on sectors where it is, or could be, the leader. The group is listed on the stock market on Euronext Paris and is eligible to use the Deferred Settlement Service. 28.2% of the company is held by the Agnelli family through Exor, 20.2% by the Lebard family through DLMD and 11.8% by Allianz, with the balance making up the stock market float.