Who we are ?

Noria is a family investment structure committed to integral ecology. As a long-term investor, Noria develops its investments along two specific lines: “Media & Humanity”, aimed at developing media that help us grow in humanity, and “Energy & Climate”, to help preserve the climate. These areas combine a resolutely specialized business approach, a factor of competence, experience and anchoring, with a desire to participate in what makes life better, for Man and his environment.

Based in Lille, Noria has progressively invested in the equity of some twenty companies at different stages of maturity, as well as in a few wind power projects. The time horizon of Noria’s investments adapts to the realities of the companies, as demonstrated by the few exits already made to date. The team is currently made up of 5 full-time employees assisted by local advisors.

Team

After 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in the agro-industry and the sale of his company WestHove to Limagrain, Christophe GUILLAUME created Noria in 2005, with the ambition to participate in the energy transition. His wife Céline joined him in 2008 by investing in the bookstores La Procure and then in other media with strong editorial content, and brings her patrimonial support to the development of Noria. David Decoster joined Noria in 2015 as Chief Financial Officer, and Benoit Praud in 2018 as Head of Direct Investments and Christophe Billon in 2020 as Financial Analyst. In November 2019, Noria creates a management company approved by the AMF, Noria Gestion. Noria is organized as a family-owned long-term investment structure and continues its action in the service of an integral ecology.

Christophe GUILLAUME - Équipe Noria
CO-FOUNDER OF NORIA

Christophe Guillaume

Céline GUILLAUME - Équipe Noria
CO-FOUNDER AND ADMINISTRATOR

Céline Guillaume

David DECOSTER - Équipe Noria
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

David Decoster

Benoit PRAUD - Équipe Noria
HEAD OF DIRECT INVESTMENTS

Benoit Praud

Analyste Financier

Christophe BILLON

CO-FOUNDER OF NORIA

Christophe Guillaume

An agricultural engineer, Christophe began his career in the food industry. In 1993, he restructured and developed WestHove, a company producing cereal ingredients for the food industry, which he took over in 1999 and sold to the ingredients division of the Limagrain group in 2004. Between 2004 and 2006, while managing WestHove, he developed a wind farm in Champagne. Christophe participates as a Business Angel in the capital of 4 regional SMEs, 3 in the agri-food sector and 1 in work-study training. He also created Noria with the intention of developing an energy activity that would contribute to the preservation of the climate. In 2007, his minority shareholding in vocational training was in difficulty. Interested in the mission of accompanying 700 young people in work-study programs into employment, Christophe decided, with the support of his partners, to take over the management of the training center. He devoted 8 years to this task before being able to take over the management. He has been the non-operational President since early 2016. In 2015, with his wife who is involved in publishing and media, they decided to combine their activities to carry out a common project inspired by integral ecology. They combined their holdings in Noria to create a family-owned, long-term investment platform focused on this theme. Christophe was born in 1966, is married and has 5 children. He is a graduate of UniLaSalle Beauvais.

CO-FOUNDER AND ADMINISTRATOR

Céline Guillaume

Married and mother of 5 children, Céline has gradually become an active and committed administrator of publishing and media companies. In 2008, she became a director of La Procure Paris and an independent director for Éditions du Cerf. In January 2015, she took over a bookstore in Tournai, which she changed to La Procure and also opened a La Procure bookstore in Lille in October 2017. She has been President of the La Procure bookstore network since December 2015. In 2015, she participated in the founding of a new journalism school in Lille, ESJ Paris Grand Lille, within the SECOM group, of which she is a director. Within their family investment structure, Céline manages the group’s structures and most of the holdings of the Media & Humanity division. Born in 1970, Céline studied law in England and holds an LLM from Buckingham University.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

David Decoster

After 6 years with PwC (Paris and Lille) as Audit Manager, David joined Noria as Financial Controller in October 2015. David also spent 3 years with the Decoster Group as Group Finance Manager where he was in charge of the reorganization and restructuring of operational and patrimonial entities. Born in 1982, David is married and has 2 children. He is a graduate of Skema Business School and holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Techniques.

HEAD OF DIRECT INVESTMENTS

Benoit Praud

Benoit joined Noria in October 2018 to take charge of the group’s equity investment activities. He started his professional career abroad as an investment manager in 2 funds dedicated to infrastructure (Babcock & Brown, in Milan and London, then Meridiam in Toronto), between 2005 and 2012. Back in Paris, he joined AREVA where he participated in the restructuring of the group by implementing an asset disposal program. From 2015, he created an M&A unit at the transport infrastructure engineering specialist, SYSTRA, and completed 6 acquisitions abroad (UK, Australia, Brazil, Sweden and USA). Born in 1982, Benoit is married and has 3 children. He holds a double degree from ENSTA Paris Tech and the Politecnico of Milan.

Analyste Financier

Christophe BILLON

Passionate about investment, Christophe joined Noria in April 2020 to participate in the investment activities in the role of Financial Analyst. After several internships in asset management and M&A at Aberdeen Asset Management (in Edinburgh) and Greentech Capital Advisors (in Zurich), he started his career as a European Equity Analyst at BDL Capital Management in Paris in 2017. For three years, he covered the Telecom, Automotive and Medical Goods sectors. Born in 1994, Christophe graduated from the Magistère Banque Finance Assurance of Paris-Dauphine University in 2016. He is fluent in French and English.

Christophe GUILLAUME - Équipe Noria
CO-FOUNDER OF NORIA

Christophe Guillaume

CO-FOUNDER OF NORIA

Christophe Guillaume

An agricultural engineer, Christophe began his career in the food industry. In 1993, he restructured and developed WestHove, a company producing cereal ingredients for the food industry, which he took over in 1999 and sold to the ingredients division of the Limagrain group in 2004. Between 2004 and 2006, while managing WestHove, he developed a wind farm in Champagne. Christophe participates as a Business Angel in the capital of 4 regional SMEs, 3 in the agri-food sector and 1 in work-study training. He also created Noria with the intention of developing an energy activity that would contribute to the preservation of the climate. In 2007, his minority shareholding in vocational training was in difficulty. Interested in the mission of accompanying 700 young people in work-study programs into employment, Christophe decided, with the support of his partners, to take over the management of the training center. He devoted 8 years to this task before being able to take over the management. He has been the non-operational President since early 2016. In 2015, with his wife who is involved in publishing and media, they decided to combine their activities to carry out a common project inspired by integral ecology. They combined their holdings in Noria to create a family-owned, long-term investment platform focused on this theme. Christophe was born in 1966, is married and has 5 children. He is a graduate of UniLaSalle Beauvais.

Céline GUILLAUME - Équipe Noria
CO-FOUNDER AND ADMINISTRATOR

Céline Guillaume

CO-FOUNDER AND ADMINISTRATOR

Céline Guillaume

Married and mother of 5 children, Céline has gradually become an active and committed administrator of publishing and media companies. In 2008, she became a director of La Procure Paris and an independent director for Éditions du Cerf. In January 2015, she took over a bookstore in Tournai, which she changed to La Procure and also opened a La Procure bookstore in Lille in October 2017. She has been President of the La Procure bookstore network since December 2015. In 2015, she participated in the founding of a new journalism school in Lille, ESJ Paris Grand Lille, within the SECOM group, of which she is a director. Within their family investment structure, Céline manages the group’s structures and most of the holdings of the Media & Humanity division. Born in 1970, Céline studied law in England and holds an LLM from Buckingham University.

Benoit PRAUD - Équipe Noria
HEAD OF DIRECT INVESTMENTS

Benoit Praud

HEAD OF DIRECT INVESTMENTS

Benoit Praud

Benoit joined Noria in October 2018 to take charge of the group’s equity investment activities. He started his professional career abroad as an investment manager in 2 funds dedicated to infrastructure (Babcock & Brown, in Milan and London, then Meridiam in Toronto), between 2005 and 2012. Back in Paris, he joined AREVA where he participated in the restructuring of the group by implementing an asset disposal program. From 2015, he created an M&A unit at the transport infrastructure engineering specialist, SYSTRA, and completed 6 acquisitions abroad (UK, Australia, Brazil, Sweden and USA). Born in 1982, Benoit is married and has 3 children. He holds a double degree from ENSTA Paris Tech and the Politecnico of Milan.

Analyste Financier

Christophe BILLON

Analyste Financier

Christophe BILLON

Passionate about investment, Christophe joined Noria in April 2020 to participate in the investment activities in the role of Financial Analyst. After several internships in asset management and M&A at Aberdeen Asset Management (in Edinburgh) and Greentech Capital Advisors (in Zurich), he started his career as a European Equity Analyst at BDL Capital Management in Paris in 2017. For three years, he covered the Telecom, Automotive and Medical Goods sectors. Born in 1994, Christophe graduated from the Magistère Banque Finance Assurance of Paris-Dauphine University in 2016. He is fluent in French and English.

INVESTMENT METHODS

Noria presents itself as an investor committed to its investments and distinguishes itself by combining 5 dimensions :

A UNIQUE POSITIONING

Noria participates in a minority way on its own funds in the capital of companies, with a capacity to invest at different stages of development.

  • Innovation Capital
  • Development capital
  • Financing of developing energy infrastructures (SPV)

A LONG-TERM VISION

  • No imperative exit horizon for the participations (evergreen structure)
  • Involved in the support of managers and in the governance of companies
  • A capacity to become a reference shareholder, over the long term

SECTORAL EXPERTISE

  • Dedicated skills
  • Facilitates synergies between its holdings
  • Access to a network of entrepreneurs and experts dedicated to energy issues
  • A shared passion of the Noria team with the managers of its participations

AN INDUSTRIAL DNA

  • The team’s industrial experience
  • Its primary interest in technical and operational aspects

A FAMILY STRUCTURE

  • No constraints imposed by external underwriters
  • Quick decision making
  • A small, accessible and responsive team
  • A capacity to implement a tailor-made support

The Noria team operates through a management company approved by the AMF, Noria Gestion.

OUR FOUNDATIONS

Integral ecology

Integral ecology proceeds from a global vision of the world. It proposes an ecology that is not purely environmental but integrates the different human, cultural, social and economic dimensions, with a specific place for the human being at the heart of all these realities. It is an ecology of the long term but also of daily life. Integral ecology aims to take into account all the dimensions and relationships between people, living beings and the environment.

In this global perception of our coexistence within our environment, Noria has chosen two very specific lines of action: One aims to develop media to help us grow in “humanity” and bring us to fully realize our human nature. The other aims at preserving our climate, seriously threatened by the accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions, by developing low-carbon energy sources.

The challenge of integral ecology is to preserve an environment where we can sustainably breathe, feed and house ourselves, but also flourish in our entirety, with the possibility of a stable family life, a pleasant living environment, pride in our work, the education of our children, access to leisure, culture and a spiritual life, all of which are inseparable from the dignity of a human life, of an integral development of people.

“Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also “macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones”

(Laudato Sì, LS 231)

The choice of a name, Noria

A noria is a hydraulic installation that uses the current of a river to raise water to feed an aqueduct or irrigate crops. Its origin dates back to the second century BC and its use continues today, especially in Syria, in the Orontes valley. This ancestral technology allows an integral development of the local life, around a renewable energy, and inspired the name of Noria to its creation in 2005.

“The noria symbolizes for us access to water, agriculture, the blossoming of a family around a place to live and work, the development of a rural community, the birth of a culture. It symbolizes both the energy of the current that animates it and the energy that it will allow to develop around it. It symbolizes the creative capacity of human genius, its intelligence, its industry, at work in the noria itself but also around it, in multiple forms.

It symbolizes a permanent anchorage, a will to act in a place in the duration and the continuity. It is only a cog in a landscape, at the service of the local community, in the heart of a fertile valley that it is up to us to make productive by our work. The noria is not an end in itself but a tool in the service of a better life, a common good, accessible to all. “

We thank Nicolas T. Camoisson for these photos of norias made in Syria before the events of March 2011.

EXTRACT FROM THE CANTICLE OF CREATURES
(FRANCIS OF ASSISI)

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs