July 31, 2021

on the move but in the same area!

The 73-year-old businessman’s lesson could serve as a model for many entrepreneurs who are eager for change and opportunity.

Son of an Italian immigrant worker in the steelworks, this Strasbourg law faculty graduate started from nothing near Thionville in Moselle. After several missions carried out in land companies of steel groups, this intuitive got his hands at a good price in 1988 on land that had become unused, and which nobody wanted, following the closure of many steelworks in eastern France. This allowed him to start building up an authentic heritage brick after brick. In the process, it will offer with Batigere many low-cost housing.

But what is remarkable then, is that the founder of Batipart always remains throughout his journey in motion to acquire, sell or merge. Never stay still but always in his domain. Judge yourself! In 30 years, he will have succeeded in developing several fine groups, taking care each time to sell them at a high price at the height of their growth.

In 1998, he sold Immobilière Batibail to GFC. In 2010, he sold Foncière des Régions (which in the meantime became Covivio) to shareholders including Delfin (owned by the famous Leonardo Del Vecchio, who has just succeeded in his coup over control of the Franco-Italian optical giant EssilorLuxotticca) ). In 2017, one of its Eurosic companies (office property in the provinces) came into the hands of Gecina. And it’s not over. When in 2001, Charles Ruggieri decided to invest in the growth sector of retirement homes with the launch of Korian. It started with 7 retirement homes bought in the Besançon region before applying the same principles: develop quickly to resell; which he did in 2015 with the PSP fund, after having in the meantime made Korian the European leader in nursing homes. This will allow it to acquire in the wake of SIIC, a real estate company listed on Euronext Paris.

Hats off to the artist, he might not have done so. ENA, each time, our man falls back on his legs and in what way with magnificent added value. It is no coincidence that today he is one of the largest French fortunes, in the Top 100 according to Manager magazine, with patrimonial assets valued at more than one billion euros.
It is also true that the founder of Batipart has never departed from a rule: that of remaining tied to his favorite sector, in this case, that of real estate development.

A bit like Louis Le Duff, for example, who has always refused to leave his restaurant sector (Brioche dorée, Del Arte, etc.) or industrial bakery (Bridor). It took him well. And if recently, the Batipart businessman agrees to have an eye on the shopping center business, it is because his son Nicolas, the new Managing Director, insisted after having had the opportunity to acquire a portfolio with Covea attractive 43 Leroy Merlin or Bricoman stores in France and southern Europe.

No regrets to have since: “It is one of our most interesting acquisitions of these last years” recognizes Charles Ruggieri who does not like hunting too much in unknown territories even if in 2009 he had already invested in a chain of hotels (30 Onomo establishments in Africa). And he can quietly pass the baton to his three children (Julien chairman of the board, Claire chairman of the supervisory board and Nicolas Dg). Assured that they will continue to dig in the same furrow, those who have worked alongside it for more than 15 years. Dogs are not cats. In this case with Ruggieri, we should talk more about a lion!

Robert Lafont