Growth via Acquisitions in Europe

Here’s a good little read on a French immigrant who went from rags to riches. Mohed Altrad was born into a Bedoiun tribe in Syria over five decades ago. However, he still doesn’t know his actual birth date because such groups don’t keep records. This forced him to pull a birthday out of hat to meet French requirements.

When he emigrated to France as a ten year old orphan, he didn’t know a soul there and had to make how own way.

Altrad is France’s Horatio Alger story. He overcame those extremely humble beginnings to build the Altrad Group into one of the world’s leading scaffolding providers, with revenues exceeding $1 billion. Scaffolding, a low-tech industry that traces its roots to ancient Egypt, is as close to a commodity as it gets. But Altrad gooses net margins, which FORBES estimates clock in around 6%, in part by providing everything from cement mixers to wheelbarrows, and he has expanded aggressively through acquisition. After a quarter-century of steady revenue and profit growth, Altrad saw its sales double over the past five years, making his stake (he owns 80% of the company) worth an estimated $1 billion–and securing his spot as a new member of the FORBES World Billionaires list.

Go read the full article at From Bedouin To Billionaire: Meet The Man Changing What It Means To Be French After Charlie Hebdo.

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