Saur is a leading French drinking and waste water management company focused on small/mid-sized cities across France, where it services approximately 7,000 French municipalities under long-term contracts. Saur is also active internationally, particularly in Iberia, Saudi Arabia and Poland.
As a longstanding environmental services leader, Saur supports local authorities and industrial companies in their water and waste water management activities. The company also carries out engineering and infrastructure services.
Saur is the #3 player in its core French water market with a historically stable ~17% market share and clear leadership in its local and regional strongholds; it has ~8,000 employees in France and ~12,000 globally.
In France, the company primarily operates under long-term contracts of 10-12 years with municipalities. Under those mostly asset-light delegation contracts, Saur manages the full operations at own risk in exchange for revenues from the end-consumers. The assets typically remain in the ownership of the local authority.
Market trends and drivers
France is one of the few countries, where water supply and treatment is dominated by private operators under long-term contracts.
The private water management market serving municipalities in France amounts to approximately EUR 4.9bn and is expected to experience stable and moderate growth going forward. The market is characterized by strong resilience and high barriers to entry. As such, the three main players have had stable market shares over the past decades without any new competition arising.
Outside of France, Saur is particularly active in the stable and attractive Spanish, Portuguese and Saudi Arabian water markets.
Saur has a proven business model with a sound value proposition for local municipalities and industrial customers.
Saur‘s value creation strategy is centered around strengthening the company’s position as a leading water company in France. This will be achieved by fostering commercial excellence, constantly improving operational performance, increasing efficiency and investing into technology and digitalization.
In addition, Saur can expand its service offering into faster growing related markets, such as industrial water and pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities outside of France.
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Board of Directors
Key events since EQT investment
- Add-on acquisition of Nijhuis Industry, a leading industrial water player; closed in November 2020
- Add-on acquisition of Aquapor, a leading Portuguese water management company; closed in February 2021