Re-Match has appointed Eric Levresse as the coming CEO for the new French Re-Match entity. The new factory will be placed in the North-East of France and will have a capacity of recycling up to 250 full-sized football pitches per year. In France alone, there are more than 4000 synthetic sports turf pitches installed.
The new factory is the first of 21 new factories all over the world that Re-Match announced in early 2019. Initially, Re-Match was hoping to open the first plant outside Denmark in the Netherlands but plans have been delayed until 2021. The new plant in France will be built to the same template and will have a catchment area that other than France includes Switzerland, Austria, Southern Germany and Northern Italy.
“We are happy to take this next step on our growth journey and to enter the French market with more than 4.000 installed pitches,” says Chairman of Re-Match A/S, Laurits Bach Sørensen who is also Partner in Nordic Alpha Partners, the investment partner of Re-Match.
“I believe that our unmatched solution for recycling of synthetic turf will be a good fit in a country where there is increasing focus on sustainability and a drive towards circularity. This new investment also marks the beginning of the second wave in our expansionary strategy, which alongside France, includes locations in both EU and North America.”
Re-Match France will be established as a joint venture between Re-Match A/S and a group of French investors.
“As a part of our strategic analysis we have concluded that in some regions the ideal approach is to secure local business experience, networks and investments. This is why we are happy to welcome Eric Levresse and his group of investors into this joint venture around Re-Match France,“ says CEO of Re-Match A/S, Dr. Stefaan Florquin. “Re-Match will supply the machinery and the know-how – and our partners will contribute with their extensive experience and knowledge of the business environment – and with their network.”
“I am proud be heading the establishment of Re-Match in my home country”, says Eric Levresse. “As established in a recent report by the international environmental consultancy, Ramboll, Re-Match offers the most advanced and only EU certified recycling solution on the market and consequently also in France. So, when I decided to bring true turf recycling to the country – of course I wanted to do it with the best technology available and with this, we can save the environment from 100.000 tons of CO2 – every year.”
Building a factory and a strong team
Eric Levresse has located a number of suitable sites for the French factory which will be built using the same approach as the other new factories in Re-Match’s roll-out strategy.
“The blueprint for these factories is the result of methodical work towards creating a factory concept that can be replicated throughout the western hemisphere. So, it is with great anticipation that we will start implementing this concept in France together with Eric Levresse and his team of investors,” says Dr. Stefaan Florquin.
While Re-Match A/S and its sales offices in the Netherlands, Germany and the Nordics will contribute to the process of getting Re-Match France up and running, a French organisation is also in the works. “I believe it is important to build a strong local team that among other key competencies also has experience within the turf industry – so this is one of my top priorities in the months to come”, says Eric Levresse.
Answering the call of French municipalities
Although the public debate about recycling of synthetic turf has not been as prominent in France as it has in e.g. the Netherlands, Norway and Germany, there is a strong drive towards ensuring sustainable solutions and establishing circular economies – not least among municipalities and local authorities.
“What Re-Match does differently is, that we are able to return the materials that were used when making the turf – back into its original components – while offering full traceability,“ says Eric Levresse, and adds: “The fact that 95 per cent of the material which is put through the certified Re-Match process is fully recycled, provides an opportunity for both the French turf industry and its customers to rethink what to do with the worn-out turf and its impact on our environment.”