Edenred, a France-based provider of employee services to corporations, has made its first corporate venturing investment since its summer reorganisation by joining a venture consortium investing in ProwebClub, a local provider of communication and management services for works councils. Venture capital firms Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and Iris Capital joined Edenred in the deal. It is Edenred’s first direct deal after commiting 15% (€15m) of venture capital firm Partech’s latest fund at the end of last year. It also follows an Edenred reorganisation in April to have Gilles Coccoli as executive vice-president of strategy and development of new programmes and services and Philippe Dufour as EVP for alternative investments. Dufour is coordinating an entity to take minority holders in companies offering value-added services to Edenred. The investment was part of a reorganisation of ProwebCE, which was founded in 2000 by Patrice Thiry to provide the works council services and listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange. In the course of the recapitalization transaction, ProwebClub launched a tender offer for the remaining shares of ProwebCE. ProwebClub owns 94.5% of ProwebCE shares as of September 7. This public transaction was completed at €18 per ProwebCE share to value the company’s equity at €35.7m ($50m). ProwebCE posted annual revenues of €43.2m last year, an increase of 24% from 2010 from clients including Comités d’Entreprise of Cap Gemini, Logica, MMA, Eurocopter, Chanel, Havas, Canal +, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Marine Nationale and Orange. Mobile phone operator Orange and advertising agency Publicis are strategic investors in Iris Capital.

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