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
http://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
http://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.

Promotions and new Investor Relations organisation within Argos Wityu

Promotions and new Investor Relations organisation within Argos Wityu

02/03/2020 – France – Press Release

Milan (Italy), Paris (France) 2 March 2020 – Argos Wityu, independent European private-equity group, announces the promotions of François Becque, Mario Giannattasio and Emanuele Tomasi as Investment Managers and Antoine Forgeard as Associate. Additionally, Anna-Karin Portunato now heads the Investor Relations team.

Louis Godron, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu, says: « We are delighted to promote such talented individuals within our investment team. We are also convinced of Anna-Karin’ capacity to lead our Investor Relations team in the upcoming future projects. »

Investor Relations

Anna-Karin Portunato joined Argos Wityu in 1996. Based in Geneva, she heads the Investor Relations team.

Graduated from a BA in Economics and Politics at HEC Lausanne, Anna-Karin started her career as an auditor at Arthur Andersen. She then joined Argos Wityu as Fund Administrator and Compliance and Risk Officer before joining the Investor Relations team.

The Investor Relations team is composed of Léa Yared, based in Paris, and Aude Stanislas, based in Geneva.

Investment team

François Becque, Investment Manager, joined Argos Wityu in 2017 as member of the Paris Investment team.

Graduated from HEC Paris and holding a Master’s degree in Corporate and Tax Law from Sorbonne University, François started his career in 2014 as a strategy consultant with Estin & Co.

François currently supports Henri Selmer Paris and Maison Berger and has been involved in the following operations:

  • Acquisitions of Henri Selmer Paris (2018) and EPC (pending closing)
  • Divestment of Efeso (2018)
  • Supported Maison Berger for its acquisition of Devineau (2019)

Mario Giannattasio, Investment Manager, joined Argos Wityu in 2018 as member of the Paris Investment team.

Graduated from Politecnico di Milano (cum laude) and from Ecole Centrale Paris, with a specialization in economics and finance.  Mario began his career at EY in Transaction Advisory where he spent five years in Paris and New York.

Mario currently supports Juratoys and Talentia Software. 

Emanuele Tomasi, Investment Manager, joined Argos Wityu in 2019 as member of the Milan Investment team.

Graduated from Università Bocconi in Milan with an MSc in Finance, Emanuele previously worked in Ambienta and Palladio Holding.

Emanuele currently supports Sicura and has been involved in its acquisition process.

Antoine Forgeard, Associate, joined Argos Wityu in 2017 as member of the Paris Investment team.

Graduated from Master 225 – Corporate Finance & Financial Engineering at Paris-Dauphine University, Antoine started his career in private equity at Argos Wityu.

Antoine currently supports Henri Selmer Paris and has been involved in the following operations:

  • Acquisitions of Henri Selmer Paris (2018)
  • Divestment of I’Car Systems (2019)
  • Supported I’Car Systems for its acquisition of Datafirst (2018)

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

About Argos Wityu
http://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 completes the acquisition of Sicura from Rekeep

Argos Wityu completes the acquisition of Sicura from Rekeep

28/02/2020 – Italy – Press Release


Milan, Zola Predosa – Bologna (Italy) , February 28, 2020 – Further to the information released on 13 February 2020, Argos Wityu, pan-European Private Equity fund with over thirty years track record, announces the completion of its acquisition of the entire share capital of Sicura, leader in the offering of integrated services, products and systems for security management, environment and health and safety on the workplace, from Rekeep S.p.A. (“Rekeep”), the holding company of the leading Italian integrated facility management group.

Sicura is a leading company offering integrated services centred around the safety, health and wellbeing of its clients’ workforce. It designs and maintains fire safety installations, machine protection systems and renders safety and corporate healthcare services. With headquarters in Vicenza, 7 operating offices and nearly 300 employees, Sicura provides a comprehensive set of flexible and complete solutions to businesses.

In FY 2018, the company generated revenues of nearly €44 million. The transaction has an Enterprise Value of 54.5 million euros.

The transaction came to completion with the creation by Argos Wityu of a newco holding controlling interests in Sicura S.p.A. The management of the Company and Rekeep both hold minority interests of 4.5% and 6.0% respectively in newco, with the purpose of retaining the existing business partnership with the Sicura Group.

Argos Wityu
http://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.

Rekeep S.p.A.
Rekeep S.p.A. (“Rekeep”) is the leading Italian operator and one of the main European players in the Integrated Facility Management sector. Rekeep’s headquarter is located in Zola Predosa (Bologna) and it employs more than 25,000 employees.

Contacts

Argos Wityu
Jean-Pierre Di Benedetto
Managing Partner
Ph. +39 02 00 660 700 / bpa@argos.fund

Coralie Cornet
Head of Communication
Ph. +33 1 53 67 20 63 / ccc@argos.fund

Rekeep
Chiara Filippi – Press Office
Ph. +39 051 3515195 / cfilippi@rekeep.com

Luca Buglione – CFO and Investor Relations
Ph. +39 051 35 15 546 / investor@rekeep.com

Image Building – Media Relations
Alfredo Mele, Carlo Musa
Ph. +39 02 89011300 / rekeep@imagebuilding.it

Mid-market Argos Index® Q4 2019

Mid-market Argos Index® Q4 2019

26/02/2020 – France – Press Release!#!

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs reached a new high of 10.3x EBITDA

Very sharp rise in number of transactions with multiples in excess of 20x EBITDA.

European mid-market M&A activity down in 2019 despite a jump in the fourth quarter

Paris (France) – 26 February 2020 – Argos Wityu, the independent European investment fund, and Epsilon Research, the online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, today published the Mid-market Argos Index® for the fourth quarter of 2019. 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.

Access to the Mid-market Argos Index® Q4 2019

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs reached a new high of 10.3x EBITDA

Median EV/EBITDA multiple on a six-month rolling basis
Source: Mid-market Argos Index® / Epsilon Research

Prices paid to acquire unlisted European SMEs reflected the turnaround in economic projections at the end of the year:

  • The principal central banks have inaugurated a new round of quantitative easing.
  • Fears of a worldwide recession have receded as economic growth continues in the United States and worldwide trade tensions appear to be subsiding.

The prices paid by corporate buyers remained high at 10.7x EBITDA, while the prices paid by buy-out capital funds stood at 10.0x EBITDA.

The percentage of transactions at high multiples increased in the second half of 2019 and rose nearly four times between 2018 and 2019.

In the fourth quarter, the spread between the multiples of listed mid-market eurozone companies (8.6x) and unlisted companies acquired by strategic buyers (10.7x) remained significant, demonstrating the momentum of the unlisted market since 2018 and the support it is receiving from the microeconomic context:

  • Investors are increasingly drawn to unlisted assets.
  • Acquirers, be they funds or large corporate buyers, have easier access to credit.
  • The number of acquisition opportunities in the very-competitive mid-market is limited.

European M&A activity continued to slow in 2019 despite a jump in the fourth quarter.

Mid-market M&A activity in the eurozone increased by 30% in the fourth quarter, both in value and volume terms, driven by large, listed companies, which remain very active in this market. Listed companies, which accounted for 65% of the strategic buyers in the second half of 2019, continue to be flush with record levels of cash; according to Moody’s (1), these levels have increased by 20% since 2013.

(1) Non-financial companies in the EMEA region had accumulated €1,085 billion in cash as of the end of 2018 (Source: Moody’s in Les Echos, Sept. 10, 2019)

Contact

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

About

Argos Wityu (http://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).

Argos Wityu congratulates Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas, who won the prestigious European Railway Award

Argos Wityu congratulates Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas, who won the prestigious European Railway Award

19/02/2020 – Belgium – Press Release!#!

Brussels (Belgium) – 19 February 2020 – Argos Wityu, independent European investment fund, with a local team in Brussels, is proud to congratulate Geert Pauwels and his team for having won the European Railway Award. It’s the first time that the CEO of a rail freight receive this prize.

At the 13th annual European Railway Award in Brussels yesterday evening, the European rail sector gathered to honour Geert Pauwels for his contribution to the sector over the past ten years. The jury lauded him for the successful transformation of a loss-making division of the Belgian Railways to the largest private rail freight company in Europe, and for the launch of the unique and innovative Green Xpress Network.

In 2015, backed by Argos Wityu, Geert Pauwels realized the privatization of the company and set out for European expansion with the launch of the Green Xpress Network.

Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas comments, “I am extremely proud. This is recognition for the hard work of all our colleagues, for the trust of our shareholders, and for the belief of our customers in what we do. We will continue to pursue modal shift in Europe, expand our Green Xpress Network, and help our customers optimize their supply chain with positive impact on climate and mobility.”

Gilles Mougenot, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu adds, “We are very proud of the journey achieved by Lineas over those last years. Under the leadership of Geert, Lineas has heavily invested in innovative and climate impactful mobility solutions, to become a world class company. We are confident in our ability to lead further successes for Lineas in the coming years.”


Contacts

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

Cécile Hisette – Cécili-Z
Belgium Contact Media
info@cecili-z.be
+ 32 473 36 14 11

Argos Wityu (http://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.

Argos Wityu signed a binding agreement regarding the acquisition of Sicura from Rekeep

Argos Wityu signed a binding agreement regarding the acquisition of Sicura from Rekeep

13/02/2020 – Italy – Press Release!#!

Milan, Zola Predosa – Bologna (Italy) , February 13, 2020 – Argos Wityu, pan-European Private Equity fund with over thirty years track record, announces the signing of a contract for the acquisition of the entire share capital of Sicura, leader in the offering of integrated services, products and systems for security management, environment and health and safety on the workplace, from Rekeep S.p.A. (“Rekeep”), the holding company of the leading Italian integrated facility management group.

Sicura is a leading company offering integrated services centred around the safety, health and wellbeing of its clients’ workforce. It designs and maintains fire safety installations, machine protection systems and renders safety and corporate healthcare services. With headquarters in Vicenza, 7 operating offices and nearly 300 employees, Sicura provides a comprehensive set of flexible and complete solutions to businesses.

The Transaction has an Enterprise Value of 54.5 million euros and its closing is expected by the end of February.

The transaction will come to completion with the creation by Argos Wityu of a newco holding controlling interests in Sicura S.p.A. The management of the Company and Rekeep will both hold minority interests in newco.

Jean-Pierre Di Benedetto, Managing Partner of Argos Wityu, declared: “We thank Rekeep for considering us as a privileged partner on an interesting, multi-sided and complex deal. The acquisition of Sicura encompasses all the requirements we seek in our transactions: highly motivated and competent management mingles with clear market leadership in a strategic strong growth project for internal lines and for acquisitions”.

Lamberto Cuppini, Chief Executive Officer of Sicura S.p.A., added: “We are thankful to Rekeep for giving us the opportunity to grow in the past years and become the leader in our sector, and it is with strong motivation that we dive into this new adventure with Argos Wityu, on which we rely to support our growth by means of future acquisitions as well”.

Giuliano Di Bernardo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rekeep S.p.A., commented: “We are very satisfied with the completion of the transaction, not only because it allows us to further focus on the challenges we are about to face on international markets, but also because alongside with Argos Wityu we managed to build a transaction that meets the needs of all stakeholders, hence also adding value to Sicura’s management, which we contributed to grow in the past years”.

In the framework of this transaction Vitale&Co acted as financial advisor to Rekeep, whereas Latham & Watkins acted as Rekeep’s legal advisor. EY assisted Rekeep in the vendor due diligence, Fantozzi & Associati in tax and structuring aspects and Banca Akros acted as Sicura’s financial advisor.
Argos Wityu was assisted by BCG as business strategy consultant, Fineurop Soditic as debt advisor, Giovannelli & Associati and Fieldfisher in tax aspects, Fieldfisher in tax and structuring aspects, KPMG in the accounting due diligence, Marsh in the insurance due diligence and Banca IFIS and BPM in acquisition finance aspects.

Argos Wityu
http://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.

Rekeep S.p.A.
Rekeep S.p.A. (“Rekeep”) is the leading Italian operator and one of the main European players in the Integrated Facility Management sector. Rekeep’s headquarter is located in Zola Predosa (Bologna) and it employs more than 25,000 employees.

Contacts

Argos Wityu
Jean-Pierre Di Benedetto
Managing Partner
Ph. +39 02 00 660 700 / bpa@argos.fund

Coralie Cornet
Head of Communication
Ph. +33 1 53 67 20 63 / ccc@argos.fund

Rekeep
Chiara Filippi – Press Office
Ph. +39 051 3515195 / cfilippi@rekeep.com

Luca Buglione – CFO and Investor Relations
Ph. +39 051 35 15 546 / investor@rekeep.com

Image Building – Media Relations
Alfredo Mele, Carlo Musa
Ph. +39 02 89011300 / rekeep@imagebuilding.it

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs reach new historic high of 10.1x EBITDA

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs reach new historic high of 10.1x
M&A activity in Europe continues to slow due to sharp decline in number of corporate sellers

!#!15/11/2019 – France – Press Release!#!

Paris, November, 15, 2019

 Argos Wityu, the independent European investment fund, and Epsilon Research, the online platform for the management of M&A transactions on unlisted companies, today published the mid-market Argos Index® for the 3rd quarter of 2019. This index, launched in 2006, measures changes in the valuations of Eurozone private mid-market companies in which a majority stake has been acquired during the last six months.

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs reach the new historic high of 10.1x EBITDA

The mid-market Argos Index® has remained remarkably stable at a historically high level.

Download Argos Index September 2019However, this stability conceals two underlying differences:

A steady difference between the multiples paid by strategic buyers, which increased to 11.0x EBITDA this quarter, and those paid by private equity funds, which were virtually stable at 9.6x EBITDA.

Multiples of listed mid-market companies in the Eurozone stood at 8.4x EBITDA, which is 30% below the acquisition multiple for unlisted mid-market companies in the Eurozone, at 11.0x EBITDA. The gap is narrower for acquisitions made by private equity funds.

M&A activity in Europe continues to slow due to a sharp decline in the number of institutional sellers

The reversal of the M&A market’s upward trajectory (in volume) that began in early 2019 has been confirmed by a decline in value of 11% worldwide and 32% in Europe. Eurozone mid-market M&A activity followed the same trend in Q3 2019, declining 26% in volume and 34% in value compared to the second quarter.

Although the volume of private equity exits has been stable for several years, the number of corporate sales of subsidiaries has fallen since 2018. This decline sharpened in Q3 2019. Divestiture of subsidiaries, once the principal source of unlisted transactions, now only accounts for 30% of them. This lack of supply partly explains the volume decline, despite it being a seller’s market.

About Argos Wityu

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.

Contact 

Coralie Cornet Communication Director

ccc@argos.fund +33 1 53 67 20 63

About Epsilon Research

Epsilon Research developed the first online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, aimed at professionals: M&A advisers, private equity funds, valuators, corporates. The Epsilon Platform includes data, analysis reports, software tools and services essential to 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, such as the Argos Index;
  • Cloudbased software for M&A contacts and project management (“M&A CRM Suite”); and for valuation projects (comparables, private equity fund portfolios).

About Argos Index® mid-market

The Argos Mid-Market Index measures the evolution of euro zone private Mid-Market company valuations. Carried out by Epsilon Research for Argos Wityu and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of Mid-Market M&A transactions in the euro zone. The sample of transactions is selected using the following criteria: acquisition of a majority stake, target based in a euro zone country, Mid-Market (equity value in the €15m-€500m range), certain activities excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech), availability of relevant target financial data.