Toymaker Juratoys, a company supported by Argos Wityu, has acquired the Belgian brand Lilliputiens.

Toymaker Juratoys, a company supported by Argos Wityu, has acquired the Belgian brand Lilliputiens.

15/10/2020 – Press release

Juratoys is strengthening its product range and positioning on the 0-6 year-old segment.

Orgelet and Paris (France), Saintes (Belgium), 15 October 2020 – The Juratoys group, one of the French leaders in the design and distribution of educational toys and games, has acquired the Belgian brand Lilliputiens, specialised in activity toys for children 0-6 years old. The Argos Wityu investment fund has supported Juratoys since 2018.

Lilliputiens is a Belgian company founded in 1995 and specialised since then in activity and early learning toys for 0-6 year-olds. Its high-quality products are easily recognisable by their sparkling design and their colourful, endearing characters. The brand’s strength derives from its values of creativity, innovation and personal development through play in the early years of childhood. Lilliputiens offers a wide range of more than 400 products, principally soft toys, books, schoolbags and backpacks, sold in numerous countries through a selective distribution network. The company has 30 employees and generates annual turnover of more than €12 million.

With this acquisition, the Juratoys group has built up its product range and strengthened its position in the 0-6 year-old segment with a brand that has a strong identity and international reach.  Lilliputiens will take advantage of Juratoys’s extensive distribution network. The acquisition boosts Juratoys’s annual sales to nearly €70 million and its staff to 170 people.

Ludovic Martin, CEO of Juratoys said: “This merger is in line with our company’s business development strategy. Through it, we are also sending a strong signal to our employees and all of our partners. We are very pleased to work with Catherine Van Crombrugge and the rest of the Lilliputiens team, whose skills dovetail with our innovation-focused business. We share the same ambitions and the same values: design, child development through play, sharing, fun and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).”

Catherine Van Crombrugge, CEO of Lilliputiens, added: “The Lilliputiens team and I are thrilled to join a company acclaimed for its products and that shares our values of creativity, quality and respect for the customer and the environment. We have recognised expertise, dedication to Belgian design and a true passion for innovation. Merging with Juratoys will give us additional resources for marketing, enable us to step up our digital efforts and give us access to a robust international network.”

Gilles Lorang, Partner at Argos Wityu concluded: “For the past two years, we have supported Ludovic Martin and his team in developing their company. The merger of Lilliputiens and Juratoys plays right into the group’s consolidation strategy, which is to offer Juratoys’s customers a comprehensive range of products. Together, the two companies will also continue to move forward in their environmental and societal commitments.

– – –

Argos Wityu Team: Gilles Lorang, Mario Giannattasio et Pierre Cassignol

List of advisors

Buyer’s advisors
Legal: McDermott Will & Emery (Bertrand Delafaye, Louis Leroy) – Loyens & Loeff (Grégoire Jakhian ; Wim Vande Velde ; Melanie Schollaert)
Financial: Eight Advisory (Philippe Fimmers, Olivier van Nes)
Tax: Arteo Law (Steven Peeters, Noémie Moortgat)

Seller’s advisors
Ernst & Young (Guy Goossens, Tom Swinnen, Adrien Faelli)

Argos Wityu
Coralie Cornet
Head of Communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

About Argos Wityu
argos.wityu.fund

Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

About Juratoys
Juratoys has been designing and distributing toys and games for 50 years. Its Janod and Kaloo brands, acquired in 2011, and Lilliputiens, acquired in 2020, are recognised for their design, the quality of their materials and their educational values, which contribute to early childhood development and learning. The company is also the exclusive distributor in France and Belgium of certain international toy brands, such as Ty. Juratoys manages more than 1,400 products under its three proprietary brands and places great emphasis on innovation, designing more than 250 new products every year. The company is present in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and China. Juratoys has 170 employees and generates annual sales of €70 million.

Cohedron, a company supported by Argos Wityu, acquires Argonaut Advies and Zorg-Lokaal.

Cohedron, a company supported by Argos Wityu, acquires Argonaut Advies and Zorg-Lokaal.

14/10/2020 – Press release

The acquisition of the 2 labels enhances Cohedron’s position as a full-service provider in the social domain for the Dutch public sector.

Utrecht (The Netherlands), 14 October 2020 – Cohedron, full-service provider in the social domain for municipalities in the Netherlands, acquires Argonaut Advies, social medical consultancy firm and Zorg-Lokaal, an innovative care services administrator. These two business units compose Social Value Holdings BV. Supported by Argos Wityu since 2017, Cohedron is an investment of the Argos VII fund.

Argonaut Advies is a specialist in the field of social medical consultancy with over 50 years’ experience and nationwide operations. With a comprehensive understanding of laws and regulations in the area of income, employment, integration, welfare and participation, Argonaut Advies is geared towards local authorities and the private sector.

Zorg-Lokaal has a strong expertise in the responsible commitment of care services for municipal authorities. The company provides municipalities and regions with valid and relevant data for steering and managing information. The objective for these local authorities is to have a better grip on the responsible deployment of their social care budget.

With this acquisition, Cohedron reinforces its position in the field of social medical consulting and adds an expertise in budget and organisational management for the municipalities’ social responsibilities. Cohedron will increase its predictive capacity in the field of care by providing data analyses, machine learning and dashboards.

Since Argos Wityu became a shareholder of Cohedron in 2017, the company has conducted an active buy-and-build strategy with 7 acquisitions of which the most recent one in September 2020 of Bureau Inkomens Beheer. Cohedron is now a company generating revenue of more than €100 million and employing more than 1500 people.

Jeroen Ekkel, Cohedron CEO: “We are proud to welcome the seasoned professionals of Argonaut Advies and Zorg-Lokaal to the Cohedron ship. We are confident that their expertise will enable us to deliver an even better response to the demands put forward by our clients. This takeover sees us further concretise our buy and build strategy, with the full support from our majority shareholder Argos Wityu as an enterprising investor that lends its conceptual input. We will continue to work at furthering the strong growth which Cohedron is currently enjoying on a step-by-step basis. Ongoing innovation, aimed at premium quality service delivery and working in partnership on behalf of our clients are central to these endeavours.”

Johan van Triest, Social Value Holdings BV Director: “I have always viewed this takeover as a strategic and qualitative move forward. This will enable us to offer our clients an even wider range of solutions and options and provide even better support in response to their needs and demands. In addition, we attach great importance to our colleagues having a great place to work. This takeover means our colleagues are becoming part of a greater whole whose values are entirely in keeping with those we cherish.

Maarten Meijssen, Argos Wityu Partner: “For the past 3 years we have supported Jeroen Ekkel and his team in implementing the company’s buy-and-built strategy. The recent corporate rebranding is the reflect of a strong growth. Our goal is to reinforce Cohedron’s leading position as a full-service provider in the social domain for the Dutch public sector.”

– – –

Argos Wityu team: Maarten Meijssen and Roel Van Ark

List of advisors

Legal: BOLT Advocaten (Bart Bendel, Louise de Gier, Rogier Dahmen, Régine de Wit)
M&A: Quore Capital (Chris Franken, Laurens de Ridder)
IT: Boncode (Jeroen Meetsma, Jan Willem Klerkx)
Finance and Tax: Deloitte (Lennart Veldhuizen, Adriaan Beeftink)

Contact Argos Wityu
Coralie Cornet
Director of Communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

Contact Cohedron
Dorine Kuitenbrouwer
Marketing Manager
dorine@cohedron.nl
030-2193900

About Argos Wityu
argos.wityu.fund

Argos Wityu is an independent private-equity group with offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris. Since its creation in 1989, the group has invested in more than 75 mid-sized companies (Enterprise Value ranging from €25m to €200m). Its majority ownership investments range between €10m and €100m. With €1Bn under management, the group develops a unique investment strategy focusing on business transformation and growth, instead of financial leverage, and on bringing solutions to complex business and shareholding situations. Its entrepreneurial approach is characterised by a close relationship with management teams and strong support to help them implement their strategic plans.

 

About Cohedron
www.cohedron.com
A single group of strong companies, each with their own expertise. Together, we are Langhenkel-Talenter, Future Communication, Human Capital Group, PLANgroep and PLANgroep Financial Services. Working under the ambitious auspices of Cohedron, a holding company that connects, renews and supports. Full of business initiative and the power to influence. Together, we are Cohedron.
What binds us together? The drive to make a meaningful impact – on the lives and success of people, organisations, companies and society. That’s what we stand for and aim for.
With over 1,500 professionals and more than 30 years’ experience, we support and advise government authorities, non-profits and the business world. We are a full-service provider for municipalities, in areas including debt relief and spatial and social fields. And for organisations, as a partner in HR, communication, administration and finance.

Argos Wityu, the management and the employees of Sword France are investing together to create an independent leader in IT-Digital and Software.

Argos Wityu, the management and the employees of Sword France are investing together to create an independent leader in IT-Digital and Software.

29/09/2020 – Press release

Paris (France), 29 September 2020 – Argos Wityu, independent European private-equity group, announces today it has finalised the acquisition of the French perimeter of the Sword Group, thus creating an independent leader in IT-Digital and Software.

Sword France assists blue-chip customers in their technological and digital transformation programs, being positioned at the crossroads of technological and end-markets related expertise. The service offering is supplemented by innovative in-house designed software products that bring added value to the core offer. Sword France employs c. 600 employees linked by a strong collective approach and generates revenues over €60m. The management team has a proven track record of double-digit growth over the past 10 years.

Led by Philippe Le Calvé, the Sword France team shares a common entrepreneurial spirit close to its customers and partners. Employees and Management have expressed their willingness to become involved at the shareholder level in the new entity. This commitment to this collective ambition is one of the fundamental values of Sword France, shared with Argos Wityu.

The objective is to reinforce the Group’s positioning as one of the leading multi-specialists focusing on targeted technology segments. Argos Wityu also aims at supporting the management team in conducting an active buy & build strategy, both in France and internationally.

Philippe Le Calvé, CEO of Sword France, said: “We are convinced about our capacity to take up the challenge together and transform the Sword France into a standalone Group. This opportunity increases room for manoeuvre, liberates energies and triggers additional initiatives in many areas including external growth and innovation. It is also an opportunity to develop new partnerships and open new horizons. Our objective is to continue and accelerate the growth of our activities. This collective project, which involves all our employees and our experienced management team, will be built over the long term. We know that we can count on Argos Wityu to support our development.”

Karel Kroupa, Partner at Argos Wityu: “We are excited to accompany Philippe Le Calvé and the management team at this entrepreneurial turning point. Sword France has a proven capacity to anticipate and capture new emerging trends. It has built long-standing relationships with its blue-chip customers and benefits from a strong reputation of technological expertise on niche market. This transaction encompasses all the strengths we seek in our transactions: a highly motivated and competent team, a clear market differentiation and a strong growth project.”

– – –

Argos Wityu team: Karel Kroupa, Simon Guichard, Pierre Dumas, Paola Alemanno

List of advisors

Buyer advisors
M&A: DC Advisory (François Prioux)
Legal: Hogan Lovells (Stéphane Huten, Florian Brechon, Laura Medjoub, Fanny Perié, Guillaume Denis, Eric Paroche, Céline Verney)
Financial: Ernst & Young (Emmanuel Picard, Marion Lassus-Pigat, Karen Contreras, Nicolas Brun)
Strategic: Digital Value (Arnaud de Baynast, Abdellah Moutaçalli, Romain Bury, Xudong Zhang)
Tax: Hogan Lovells (Laurent Ragot, Maryll Pizzetta)
Insurance: Marsh (Margaux Rocher, Jean-Marie Dargaignaratz, Charles Amblard)

Management advisors
Legal: Solferino Associés (Bernard-Olivier Becker, Marie-Estelle Colin)
Tax: Cazals Manzo Pichot Saint Quentin (Bertrand de Saint Quentin)

Sellers advisors
M&A: Bryan Garnier (Thibaut de Smedt, Olivier Garnier, Stanislas de Gmeline, Jonathan Foiret-Hurbin)
Financial: PWC (David Willems, Rodolphe Challand)
Legal: Quartèse Avocat (Marie Kapp-Brunet) et Korvinglaw (Marianne Korving)

Contacts
Coralie Cornet
Communications Director
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 87 44 92 18


Cynthia Vettivelu
Communication Officer
communication@sword-group.com
+33 4 81 65 39 35 

About Argos Wityu
argos.wityu.fund
Argos Wityu is an independent private-equity group with offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris. Since its creation in 1989, the group has invested in more than 75 mid-sized companies (Enterprise Value ranging from €25M to €200M). Its majority ownership investments range between €10M and €100M. With €1Bn under management, the group develops a unique investment strategy focusing on business transformation and growth, instead of financial leverage, and on bringing solutions to complex business and shareholding situations. Its entrepreneurial approach is characterised by a close relationship with management teams and strong support to help them implement their strategic plans. 

Promotions within Argos Wityu

Promotions within Argos Wityu

10/09/2020 – Belgium – Press Release

Brussels (Belgium), 10 September 2020 – Argos Wityu, independent European private-equity group, announces the promotions of Arne Louwagie and Roel van Ark as Investment Managers.

Gilles Mougenot, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu, says: « We are delighted to promote Arne and Roel considered as talented individuals within our investment team. This is also the reflection of our strategy to consolidate our positioning in Belgium and increase our presence in the Netherlands. »

Investment team

Arne Louwagie, Investment Manager, joined Argos Wityu in 2016 as member of the Benelux Investment team.

Graduated from a master in business engineering at University of Leuven and holding a master in financial management from Vlerick Business School, Arne began his career in 2014 in M&A specializing in food and agribusiness transactions.

Arne currently supports Lineas and Gantrex. He has been involved in the acquisition of Future Groep (2017) and the development of its buy-and-build strategy, including the acquisition of Langhenkel (2018) and 4 additional build-ups (2018 – 2020).

Roel van Ark, Investment Manager, joined Argos Wityu in 2019 as member of the Benelux Investment team.

Graduated from a BBA in international business, finance, and economics at St. Norbert College and a CFA level III candidate, Roel began his career in London, UK at PwC Strategy& focused on Corporate Strategy and M&A Commercial Due Diligence. Subsequently, he went to a lower mid-market UK Private Equity firm focused on operational turnaround (incl. interim management roles).

Roel currently supports Future Groep and its active growth strategy. He is also supporting the Benelux team in further building out the firm’s presence in The Netherlands.

Contact
Coralie Cornet
Communications Director
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

About Argos Wityu
https://argos.wityu.fund
Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

Argos Wityu enters into exclusive negotiations to acquire the French activities of Sword Group

Argos Wityu enters into exclusive negotiations to acquire the French activities of Sword Group

29/07/2020 – France – Press release

argos
sword

Paris, France – July 29th, 2020 – Argos Wityu, a pan-European Private Equity firm with over thirty years of track record, announces that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sword Group in order to acquire its French activities.  The scope of the proposed transaction includes:

  • The Service activities currently managed by the French subsidiaries on the French territory,
  • International Software activities for National Trademark and Patent Offices.

This perimeter generates annual sales of approximately €60 million.

https://argos.wityu.com

https://www.sword-group.com/

Mid-market Argos Index® second quarter 2020

Mid-market Argos Index® second quarter 2020

23/07/2020 – Press release

Acquisition prices of unlisted SMEs stabilised at 9.2x EBITDA against a background of low transaction volumes

Paris (France) – 23 July 2020 – Argos Wityu, an independent European investment fund, and Epson Research, the online platform for the management of unlisted M&A transactions, today published the Mid-market Argos Index® for the second quarter of 2020. This index, launched in 2006, tracks the valuations of eurozone private, mid-market companies in which a majority stake has been acquired during the last six months.

Argos Mid-market Index® for Q2 2020

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs stabilised in the second quarter at 9.2x EBITDA against a background of low transaction volumes.

Multiple media EV/EBITDA, 6-mo. rolling basis – Source: Mid-market Argos Index® / Epsilon Research
  • The Argos Index® stabilised at 9.2x EBITDA. Multiples did not continue to decline during the second quarter; rather, the softer market conditions were expressed in declining transaction volumes.

  • Nevertheless, valuation differences increased between transactions in sectors that the crisis has spared (software, healthcare, etc.) and in those it has impacted more directly. The latter have been the target of opportunistic acquisitions at lower valuations.

  • The index remained stable also because financial terms were still very accommodative, owing to the ECB’s rapid and massive intervention, and because large groups and investment funds had large cash hoards that were available for opportunistic acquisitions.

Convergence of multiples paid by investment funds and strategic buyers.

  • The multiples paid by buyout capital funds rose slightly to 9.3x EBITDA amid a transaction volume down 35% in the second quarter.

  • Prices paid by strategic buyers continued to declne, following on from the first quarter, to 8.9x EBITDA. Large, listed companies represented more than 70% of strategic buyers in the first half, to the detriment of small or unlisted groups.

Stable proportion of transactions at high multiples, in excess of 15x EBITDA.

  • They represented 15% of the transactions carried out during the half-year period.

  • This means that prices have been particularly resilient for thriving companies, such as those in sectors that are shielded from the impact of Covid-19 (technology, healthcare, etc.).

The spread between the multiples of listed companies and the transaction multiples paid by strategic buyers narrowed.

  • The multiples of listed companies increased by 9% to 7.4x EBITDA in the second quarter, benefiting from the rapid recovery in equity markets[1].

  • The spread between the multiples of listed companies and the transaction multiples paid by strategic buyers reached an historical high in the first quarter of 2020. That spread narrowed in the second quarter.

Sharp volume decline in European mid-market M&A activity

  • European M&A activity fell by 40% in volume (to 150 transactions) and by 60% in value during the second quarter (vs the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2019).

  • Germany remained the most active eurozone country, and its weighting increased to 31% of transactions in the first half of 2020. France advanced more slowly, meanwhile, to 18% of transactions.

Contact
Antoinette Darpy
Agence toBnext
adarpy@tobnext.com
+33 1 53 67 20 63

Argos Wityu (www.argos.wityu.fund) is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

Epsilon Research developed the first online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, aimed at M&A professionals. The Epsilon platform includes data, analysis reports, software and services essential for private company valuation / deal management: EMAT, the largest database of European private company transaction multiples, with detailed analysis of 8,000 M&A deals, ranging from €1m to €500m in value, covering all industry sectors; indices and studies published regularly by Epsilon, including the Argos Index; cloud-based software for managing M&A contacts and projects; valuation of comparables, private equity fund investments.

The Mid-market Argos Index® tracks the valuation of unlisted mid-market companies in the eurozone. Carried out by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of transactions meeting the following criteria: mid-market (equity value between €15m and €500m for 100%), target based in a eurozone country, acquisition of a majority stake, certain activities excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech).


[1] The EuroStoxx® TMI Small index appreciated by 16.5% between 1 April and 30 June 2020.

Argos Mid-market Index® First quarter 2020

Argos Mid-market Index® First quarter 2020

12/05/2020 – Press release

Acquisition prices of unlisted SMEs declined to 9.3x EBITDA

Fewer transactions where high multiples of >15x EBITDA are paid

Rebound in European mid-market M&A volume activity in Q1 2020… before an obvious drop to be observed in Q2 2020

Paris (France) – 12 May 2020 – Argos Wityu, an independent European investment fund, and Epson Research, the online platform for the management of unlisted M&A transactions, today published the Argos Mid-market Index® for the first quarter of 2020. This index, launched in 2006, tracks the valuations of eurozone private, mid-market companies in which a majority stake has been acquired during the last six months.

Argos Mid-market Index® for Q1 2020

Prices paid to acquire unlisted European SMEs declined significantly to 9.3x EBITDA, after having reached a record high of 10.3x EBITDA in the previous quarter.

Multiple media EV/EBITDA, 6-mo. rolling basis - Source: Argos mid-market Index® / Epsilon Research
Multiple media EV/EBITDA, 6-mo. rolling basis – Source: Argos mid-market Index® / Epsilon Research
  • The Argos Index®’s decline to 9.3x EBITDA began in January and accelerated in March.
  • For the most part, this decline reflected the market’s anticipation of a downturn in the economy at the beginning of the year. As the Argos Index®is calculated on a six-month rolling basis, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis was limited at this stage, even though disruptions related to the epidemic started to be felt at the end of January.

Multiples paid by corporate buyers declined to 10.0x EBITDA.

  • This represents a 6.5% decline over the quarter.
  • They remained higher than prices paid by investment funds, which averaged 8.8x EBITDA and were down 12% over the quarter. Buyout volumes have been down since the third quarter of 2019. Funds continued to build up their level of dry powder[1].

Transactions at high multiples, in excess of 15x EBITDA, were down.

  • They represented 12% of the transactions carried out during the quarter.
  • This level is in line with those recorded in 2018 and in the first half of 2019.

The multiples of listed, eurozone, mid-market companies fell sharply.

  • Over the quarter, they were down 21%, at 6.8x EBITDA[2], in line with the trend in equity markets[3].
    Note: Stock market multiples were calculated on the basis of spot prices at March 31, which integrated the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Care should be taken when comparing them to the Argos Index®, which is computed on the 6 months before.

Rebound in European mid-market M&A volume activity in Q1 2020… before an obvious drop to be observed in Q2 2020.

  • Transactions during the quarter increased by 15% in volume terms.
  •  Relatively unaffected by the Covid-19 crisis until mid-March, they returned to their year-earlier level.
  • Germany most active Euro zone region in terms of SME deal involvement, followed by Benelux and France

Contact
Coralie Cornet
Head of Communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

Argos Wityu (www.argos.wityu.fund) is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

Epsilon Research developed the first online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, aimed at M&A professionals. The Epsilon platform includes data, analysis reports, software and services essential for private company valuation / deal management: EMAT, the largest database of European private company transaction multiples, with detailed analysis of 8,000 M&A deals, ranging from €1m to €500m in value, covering all industry sectors; indices and studies published regularly by Epsilon, including the Argos Index; cloud-based software for managing M&A contacts and projects; valuation of comparables, private equity fund investments.

The Argos Mid-market Index® tracks the valuation of unlisted mid-market companies in the eurozone. Carried out by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of transactions meeting the following criteria: mid-market (equity value between €15m and €500m for 100%), target based in a eurozone country, acquisition of a majority stake, certain activities excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech).


[1] According to Preqin, the global private equity sector had dry powder of $1.45tn as of 31 December 2019.
[2] Source: smallcaps.infrontanalytics.com
[3] The EuroStoxx® TMI Small index fell 26.1% between 1 January and 31 March 2020.

Guillaume Laurin is appointed CEO of Zodiac Milpro

Guillaume Laurin is appointed CEO of Zodiac Milpro

02/04/2020 – Press release

Paris (France), 2 April 2020 – Guillaume Laurin has been chosen to succeed to Marc Lavorata as CEO of Zodiac Milpro. Guillaume will arrive on 6 April 2020, and his appointment will take effect as of 4 May 2020, with the continuing support of Marc Lavorata, who will become COO.

Guillaume Laurin was the Chairman of the Executive Board of NSE, a listed French group with international operations in aerospace and defence, specialized in design, integration and electronic equipment services, which he successfully developed while opening new subsidiaries in Canada and India. Skilled in transformation and development, Guillaume is an executive with global vision and in-depth experience in managing large industrial, technical and technological companies.

Trained as a civil and military engineer, Guillaume will join Zodiac Milpro with sound experience as a seasoned international executive. He spent nearly 20 years in the French Navy in various staff and operational naval aerospace positions. In particular, he was the technical director of the Franco-American surveillance aircraft programme, then director of the “Aircraft Support” bureau in charge of maintaining operational readiness. He was director of development, then CEO of ECT Industries (190 employees, €24m in sales), acquired by NSE in 2011. He then became General Director of NSE (700 employees, €76m in sales), before becoming Executive Vice President-Deputy CEO and finally Chairman of the Executive Board, a position he has held since 2017.

Louis Godron, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu, said, “I am very pleased that the succession plan organised with Marc Lavorata has resulted in the appointment of Guillaume Laurin. Guillaume’s international experience and his in-depth understanding of Zodiac Milpro’s business will stand him in good stead in pursuing the growth of this world leader in an expanding sector. I would like to thank Marc for his engagement and for the remarkable way he has prepared his succession.”

Guillaume Laurin added, “I am honoured to accept this appointment, and I am looking forward to joining Zodiac Milpro’s marvellous team and its 400 employees, who have made the company the leader in semi-rigid and inflatable boats for military and professional markets. Zodiac Milpro’s positioning is competitive and is a very good base for launching and executing an ambitious strategic plan.”

Marc Lavorata declared, “I would like to sincerely thank the company’s entire staff for the work they have accomplished since I have been CEO. It is their efforts that have built Zodiac Milpro into what it is today, and I am extremely proud of what we have done together. I am happy that Guillaume Laurin has agreed to follow in my footsteps. I have full confidence in his ability to guide the group to a successful future.”

Contact
Coralie Cornet
Head of communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

About Argos Wityu
argos.wityu.fund
Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

About Zodiac Milpro
zodiacmilpro.com
Leader on the market of semi-rigid and inflatable boats for the military and professionals. Since 1896, Zodiac Milpro has been designing innovative products in the Military and Professional field for “those who work on the water”. Zodiac Milpro has originated most of the major concepts that have driven the development of the modern inflatable boat since the 1930s. Since those early days, Zodiac Milpro has become the main manufacturer of inflatable and semi-rigid boats for Professional and Military applications. As a French stand-alone group headquartered in Paris, Zodiac Milpro has more than 100 years of technical heritage and sets the standards for military and professional inflatable and semi-rigid craft.

Factum Group, a company backed by Argos Wityu, acquires AGL Services and strengthens its position in the long-term leasing of professional vehicles

Factum Group, a company backed by Argos Wityu, acquires AGL Services and strengthens its position in the long-term leasing of professional vehicles.

24/03/2020 – France – Press release

Paris (France), 24 March 2020 – Factum Group is pursuing its strategic development and has announced the acquisition of 100% of AGL Services. Despite the difficult public health and economic situation, Factum Group is maintaining its determination to grow and is pursuing its strategic investments.

AGL Services is one of the leading, independent French managers of automotive fleets for professional long-term leasing customers. It manages a multibrand fleet of nearly 3,000 vehicles. Headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, AGL Services has operated throughout France for more than 30 years and offers long-term leasing solutions (18-60 months), including services adapted to the specific needs of the companies, associations and local authorities that are its customers (maintenance, fuel, repairs, renewal, repurchase, etc.).

Since the creation of its Motors subsidiary in 2012, Factum Group has leased professional vehicles worth nearly €70m under long-term leasing arrangements and has an active fleet of professional vehicles worth nearly €45m.

With this acquisition, Factum Group strengthens its positioning in the automotive fleet management market and internalises a complementary service dimension.

AGL Services will enable the group to more than double its fleet of professional vehicles to more than €100m. Annual vehicle leasing revenue will total more than €40m, or nearly 25% of the group’s consolidated revenue.

This acquisition is part of Factum Group’s acquisition strategy, by aiming to round out the group’s range of professional equipment financing and management services. This transaction follows two acquisitions in January 2019: Les Artisans du Mobile, a specialist in the management of mobile phone fleets (from supply to repair), and Nodixia, an expert in IT life-cycle management and in the reconditioning and resale of computer equipment.

Factum Group now has more than 170 employees and had combined 2019 sales of nearly €165m.


Karel Kroupa, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu, said, “We are proud to support Factum Group’s dynamic team and very pleased to see the various initiatives launched since the acquisition come to fruition. In this regard, the acquisition of AGL Services represents a significant additional step towards strengthening Factum Group’s position as an independent European leader in the management of professional equipment.”


Arnaud Deymier, CEO of Factum Group, said, “In the current environment, it is important to maintain a long-term view and to pursue the group’s fundamental, strategic development. We remain confident that despite short-term turbulence, our market and our know-how, combined with AGL Services’ unique expertise, will remain promising for the medium and long term. Our priority is in supporting companies and local authorities in financial and operational management, over the entire life cycle of their equipment. AGL Services will strengthen our palette of fleet management services, enabling us to offer solutions that include leasing and especially the associated services that are adapted to each customer’s needs.”

Alexandre Kiatibian, CEO of AGL Services, declared, “For more than 30 years, our customers and employees have felt attached to our company and our know-how. We have developed real expertise in this market. By joining the Factum Group, we will ensure the continuity and the long-term viability of our services, while improving and strengthening our complementary skills.”


List of advisors

Seller
Alexandre Kiatibian

Factum Group
Arnaud Deymier

Argos Wityu
Karel Kroupa, Thomas Ribéreau, Vincent Yacoub

Seller advisors:
Legal: CMS Francis Lefebvre Lyon (Philippe Calard)
Tax: CMS Francis Lefebvre Lyon (Jérémy Duret)
Law firm (Paris): Luc Moreau
M&A: Crédit du Nord (Raphaël Aubry-Marais, Cécile Pagat, Corentin Grandin)

Factum Group advisors
Legal: August Debouzy (Julien Aucomte, Olivier Moriceau, Laure Khemiri, Leslie Ginape, Maxime Legourd), PwC (Emmanuelle Veras)
Financial: PwC (Philippe Chavane, Maxence Pleynet, Rachel Aoust)
Tax: PwC (Emmanuelle Veras, Philippe Adellach), Arsene (Franck Chaminade, Charles Dalarun, Charlotte Signol)
Employment: PwC (Emmanuelle Veras)
M&A: Degroof Petercam (Frédéric Hébrard, Dimitri Dayan, Franck Fournier)


Contact
Coralie Cornet
Head of Communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

About Argos Wityu
https://argos.wityu.fund
Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

About Factum Group
www.factum-group.eu
Factum Group has been an independent European leader in the management of professional equipment for more than 25 years.
To support its 4,500 SME and large account customers, Factum Group has developed value-adding technical and financial expertise in information technology, mobile telephony, medical equipment, manufacturing and rolling stock.
To develop local partnerships with its customers, Factum Group has extended its geographical footprint to all of France via a network of 12 sales offices. It also has four subsidiaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany. Through the daily management of more than 200,000 mobile phones, and the reconditioning of nearly 250,000 pieces of IT equipment per year, Factum Group is becoming a major player in the management of technology assets. The group currently has 170 employees, around €165m in total revenue and €450m in assets under management.

Argos Wityu committed to protect its employees, investors and external counterparties.

Argos Wityu committed to protect its employees, investors and external counterparties.

19/03/2020 – Manifesto

March 19th, 2020 – Argos Wityu is mobilized in this period of crisis protect its employees, investors and external counterparties.

Argos Wityu has the organization and technical resources allowing us to remain fully operational:

  • Our infrastructure and tools had been designed to ensure business continuity in case of a crisis and are performing perfectly in line with expectations.
  • We started to take some early steps as soon as end January to anticipate a possible widespread outbreak in Europe. A dedicated Covid-19 Response Team has been established, in order to monitor the situation, adopt appropriate measures and issue timely updates.
  • In that context, our offices switched one after the other to a remote work organization, and for the last ones on March 12, ahead of governmental requirements.
  • Business goes on at Argos Wityu, even under these difficult circumstances, by means of the use of remote working technology that offers all business-critical resources the possibility to work from a remote location.

Over the past 30 years, we have gone through several tough periods. This experience, combined with the expertise of our teams, is our strength today. More than ever our objective remains the same: help our companies adapt to situations while preserving their balance and economic health.

We salute the commitment of the teams led by their CEOs who are also actively preparing for the upcoming recovery plan. We are doing our best through advice, experience sharing and expert support to help management teams to protect businesses in the best possible way.

Entrepreneurs and Investors’ trust is our most valuable asset. We are aware of this and we will be worthy of it.

With our best regards,

Jean-Pierre Di Benedetto, Louis Godron, Frank Hermann, Karel Kroupa, Gilles Lorang and Gilles Mougenot,
Managing Partners

Contact
Coralie Cornet
Communications Director
ccc@argos.fund
+33 1 53 67 20 63

About Argos Wityu
https://argos.wityu.fund
Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.