As the U.S. dollar crept lower last year, a French human resources consulting company, BPI Group, was looking to expand into the Southeast U.S.

With the dollar’s drop making U.S. acquisitions more affordable, BPI approached Hélène Dubarry, senior trade adviser in Atlanta’s French Trade Commission-Ubifrance office, looking for help in finding a suitable company to buy. Ms. Dubarry is the author of a book, “How to Successfully Deal With the Acquisition and Post Acquisition of a U.S. Company.”

She told BPI Group about several Atlanta-based prospects, including Executrack Inc.

“I had Executrack in my listing for its good reputation and its scope of activity,” she told GlobalAtlanta in a recent interview at the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Last summer, BPI bought Executrack, a company founded in 1982 that now has about 20 employees. Terms were not disclosed.

BPI Group, a rapidly expanding company with more than 2,000 consultants, has offices throughout Europe and in Brazil, Morocco, Canada and the U.S.

Executrack now finds itself transformed from a small regional company to part of a global network, Steve Spires, Executrack’s former CEO, who now heads the Atlanta BPI office, told GlobalAtlanta.

“That was part of the attraction, a world platform of resources,” he said.

Atlanta was chosen for an acquisition in part, because it is in center of a manufacturing region and BPI has a long history of working with manufacturers, Juan Luis Goujon, president and CEO of BPI Group North America, told GlobalAtlanta. Based in Chicago, he was in Atlanta on a recent visit to the new office here.

BPI provides a range of services to companies, such as executive recruitment, developing managerial talent and corporate restructuring.

It is expanding its consulting businesses into the health care arena and it has a Web site for companies interested in expanding their business in Europe.

Although the consulting business was down in 2009 in some areas, such as executive recruitment, it was up in other areas, such as human resources, as companies downsized, said Mr. Goujon.

“I think 2010 will be a year of wait and see,”  he added.

The French Trade Commission-Ubifrance has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. It helps French companies export to the U.S. and establish business connections with firms here. 

For more information on the trade commission, click here. For more information on BPI Group, click here