Ardian's purchases in IT companies

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Integral service around a transaction
BY : Diego GutiérrezJanuary Wed, 2019

We talk about Ardian, the French global private equity firm, and its latest venture. purchase of companies of IT.

Getting to know Ardian

Ardianfounded in 1996 and directed by Dominique Senequier, is a independent private investment company con 62.000 millones de dólares en activos administrados o asesorados en Europa, América del Norte y Asia. El 30 de septiembre de 2013, AXA Private Equity anunció su separación del Grupo AXA y su lanzamiento bajo el nuevo nombre de Ardian.

The company, which is majority-owned by its employees, keeps the entrepreneurial spirit at its heart and delivers a return on investment to its global investors, while driving growth in economies around the world.

Ardian's investment process incorporates three values: excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship. Ardian maintains a truly global network, with over 450 employees working in twelve offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Singapore, Jersey and Luxembourg.

The company offers its 580 investors a diversified choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes through Ardian Funds (comprising primary and secondary activities), Ardian Private Debt, Ardian Direct Funds, Ardian Infrastructure, Ardian Real Estate and customised mandate solutions with Ardian Mandates.

Acquisition of IT companies

Since 2004, the French private equity firm has confirmed 76 acquisitions. Several of these have been in pharmaceutical or manufacturing companies and most of them have been leveraged buyouts (LBOs). We are going to analyse, from our Corporate Finance perspective, the investments that Ardian has made in technology companies in recent years.

1. TrustTeam

Ardian announced on November 5, 2018 the acquisition from Naxicap Partners of a majority stake in TrustTeam, a integrated ICT provider for SMEs based in Courtrai, Belgium.

Founded in 2002 by its current CEO, Stijn Vandeputte, TrustTeam offers a wide range of IT outsourcing solutions for SMEs, including infrastructure, data centres, cyber security, communications, software and maintenance services.

Thanks to the high efficiency of its operational staff, TrustTeam has built a solid reputation for providing high quality services and has developed long-lasting relationships with its more than 1,500 clients. The company has established a strong track record of growth and profitability since its inception, expanding through a combination of organic and external growth with eight acquisitions in the last 10 years to expand its product portfolio and customer base.

2. Dynamic Technologies

Established in 1983, Dynamic Technologies manufactures a wide range of tubes for the automotive industry. It creates aluminium tubes and develops products such as transmission oil cooling lines, engine oil cooling lines, turbo cooling lines, exhaust gas recirculation, HVAC piping and power steering piping.

Headquartered in Attimis, Italy, Dynamic Technologies has additional operations in Canada, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, the UK and China. It employs 182 people and has annual revenues of $15 million.

On 11 August 2017, the leveraged buyout of Dynamic Technologies by Ardian was confirmed. The amounts involved in the transaction are not known, but we do know that in 2019 the Italian company will plans to invest US$320,700 in IT.

3. Assystem Technologies

On 11 May 2017, Assystem Technologies signed an agreement with Ardian to transferring the 60% from the Division of Global Product Solutions (GPS), leaving Ardian with the 40% of the property. The transaction was valued at $550,000.

The global solutions division specialises in product engineering and post-development services for customers in the aerospace, automotive, transportation and manufacturing industries.

Assystem aims to enable GPS to continue to be one of the world's most important main players in the ongoing consolidation of the R&D outsourcing market. By cooperating with Ardian, the group gives GPS access to the French company's resources and expertise, particularly through the identification and financing of acquisitions.

Dominique Louis, CEO of Assystem, said: "We believe that relying on Ardian's skills and financial means is an excellent driver for the development of GPS and securing its position as a market leader. We are confident in the success of GPS and are convinced of the opportunities that this partnership is creating for its customers, managers and employees".

4. Schwind eye-tech-solutions

Founded in 1958 by Herbert Schwind, Schwind develops, produces and distributes an extensive and highly sophisticated range of products, including diagnostic tools and laser systems for the treatment of refractive errors and corneal diseasesas well as software solutions and services.

More than 1,500 Schwind laser systems have been installed worldwide. Its customers include surgeons in eye clinics, laser centres and university hospitals. Their laser systems, which are used in procedures such as LASEK, LASIK and PRK (Trans) surgery, have become world-renowned as technological pioneers and represent the highest levels of precision and safety.

The company's products are available in 125 countries worldwide; it has its own distribution organisation in Germany and parts of Europe, and uses selected distribution partners outside Europe.

Ardian made the purchase on 28 November 2016 in a Schwind's majority shareholding. The acquisition was made by Ardian's Expansion Fund IV, which closed in June 2016 and raised €1 billion. Neither party wanted to disclose the details of the transaction.

With Ardian's support, the management team plans to further expand Schwind's position as a global leader in its field. The company aims to achieve organic and sustainable growth both by investing in the further development of its existing laser systems and by expanding its product range.

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