Company description

E.CF is the European leader in the distribution of small equipment and non-food consumables for catering, resulting from the merger of Chomette Favor and the Ecotel Group.

Context of the investment

In 1993, the company was in financial difficulty after having financed and built a major logistics center aimed at consolidating and automating its systems and warehouses. With the shock of the economic crisis in 1993, combined with the slow implementation of the new logistics and IT, Chomette Favor suffered a severe drop in sales, accumulating losses and facing dire difficulties to meet its financial commitments. Chequers negotiated with the family shareholders to invest through a capital injection with a minority stake alongside renegotiated of the financing.

Role of Chequers

Chequers supported a renewed management team with a financial profile, whose first task was to turn around the business and stem the losses. Cash-flow recovered and the debt was gradually repaid. After 4 years and an effective recovery but no rebound in the market, the decision was made to recruit a new CEO with a more commercial profile and develop Chomette Favor both organically and through acquisitions. A merger was completed a year later with the 2nd largest player on the French market, the Ecotel group. The whole group was renamed E.CF. This significant transformation of the group was accomplished by Chequers working closely with management on all strategic and operational improvement matters. E.CF subsequently completed several acquisitions and openings abroad in Italy, Benelux and the United Arab Emirates. Chequers strongly favoured the strengthening of the management team and reorganised the group’s dispersed shareholding, becoming the majority shareholder in 2003.


The group doubled in size over this period, recovering the lost momentum and achieving significant growth in a mature market. It is now by far the leading player in its industry in France, and the leading consolidator in Europe. Many export development projects were initiated during this period. After owning a stake in E.CF for 17 years, Chequers sold it to a group of investors in 2011.