Olinn, a European professional equipment management group backed by Argos Wityu, announces the acquisition of Rentys, a specialist in operational leasing based in Belgium.

Olinn, a European professional equipment management group backed by Argos Wityu, announces the acquisition of Rentys, a specialist in operational leasing based in Belgium.

18/01/2021 – Press release

This acquisition enables Olinn to become a leading provider of operational leasing in Belgium, with nearly 800 customers and 40 million euros of technological assets under management.

Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France, 18 January 2021 – Olinn, a specialist in equipment management and financing solutions (sourcing, operational leasing, stock management, fleet management, refurbishment, recycling) in the IT, mobile telephony, vehicle, medical equipment, and manufacturing sectors, announces the acquisition of Rentys, an independent leader in operational leasing based in Belgium.

Founded in 2001 by Christophe Maréchal, Rentys has enjoyed regular growth while expanding into IT operational leasing for the Private Business and Public Institution market and has already funded more than 150 million euros’ worth of technological equipment.

This acquisition is part of the Group’s development strategy and will turn Olinn into a leading provider of operational leasing in Belgium, with nearly 800 customers and 40 million euros of technological assets under management.

Olinn currently has 200 employees generating nearly €175m in turnover and managing more than €500m of assets in Europe. To build a closer partnership with its customers, Olinn has expanded its geographic coverage throughout France, and has added six European subsidiaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Arnaud Deymier, President of the Olinn Group: “With Rentys, the Olinn Group is gaining expertise that is unmatched in Belgium, as well as strong relationships with partners, customers and financial institutions. Combining our offerings and skills will allow us to sustain both companies’ activities, increase our visibility, and create the conditions for strong growth, thanks to our dynamic and dedicated team.”

Christophe Maréchal, CEO of Rentys: “We are very happy to be joining the Olinn Group. Combining our respective skills will allow us to quickly provide new solutions and new services to all our customers. Like many of our colleagues in Europe, we realised that we needed to enter a new phase to consolidate our position and continue our development. The idea of joining forces with Olinn arose naturally.”

Karel Kroupa, Managing Partner at Argos Wityu, concludes: « The combination of Rentys and Olinn is fully in line with the Group’s European development strategy as led by Arnaud Deymier and his teams. This will enable clients to benefit from the complementary offers and skills of the two companies. »

– – –

Argos Wityu team: Karel Kroupa, Thomas Ribéreau, Vincent Yacoub

List of advisors

Olinn advisors
Legal: August Debouzy (Julien Aucomte, Olivier Moriceau, Laure Khemiri, Leslie Ginape, Maxime Legourd), Deloitte (Werner Van Lembergen, Jean-Philippe de Vinck)
Financial: Deloitte (Hrisa Nacea, Thibault Guglieri, Charline Borsus, Davy Simonneau, Armelle Bosset)
Tax: Deloitte (Wim Eynatten, Mathieu Henderikx), Arsene (Franck Chaminade, Charles Dalarun)
M&A : Degroof Petercam (Frédéric Hébrard, Florent De Liedekerke)

Seller advisors
Legal: Koan Law (Pierre Willemart – Elisabeth Bousmar)
M&A et Financier : PWC (Xavier Suin – Rodrigue Platteau – Guillaume Desrues – Célestin François – Quentin Janssens)

Contact Argos Wityu
Coralie Cornet
Communications Director
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 Olinn
www.olinn.eu
Olinn, a European professional equipment management group, supports the development of companies and public bodies by thinking globally and sustainably.
Olinn remains involved during the entire life cycle of the equipment and offers solutions that incorporate sourcing, financing and associated services, including restoration and reconditioning.
With Olinn, companies combine performance with responsibility by choosing appropriate technology investment strategies rooted in a CSR approach.
With 200 employees, 60 of whom are disabled, the company generated revenues of €165m in 2019.
The group operates in 7 European countries with a network of 18 areas covering France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Almost 4,500 customers currently use the group’s comprehensive services.
Each year, Olinn has:

  • €450m of assets (IT, Mobile, Medical, Industrial, and Vehicles) under management,
  • more than €2bn of equipment financed,
  • 180,000 smartphones under management
  • fleet of 4,500 vehicles
  • 250,000 items of IT equipment reconditioned annually, saving 31Mkg of greenhouse gases.

Sasa Demarle, specialist in non-stick cooking products, is acquiring the start-up Mokaya, specialist in customised baking moulds, with the help of Argos Wityu.

Sasa Demarle, specialist in non-stick cooking products, is acquiring the start-up Mokaya, specialist in customised baking moulds, with the help of Argos Wityu.

14/12/2020 – Press release

With 3D design now enhancing its industrial expertise, Sasa Demarle has entered the universe of pastry-making 4.0.

Paris (France), 14 December 2020 – Sasa Demarle, specialist in non-stick cooking products for baking, pastry making and all catering trades, has acquired Mokaya, specialist in customised pastry moulds. Argos Wityu has been supporting the Sasa Demarle group since 2016.

Created by aeronautics engineers in 2017, Mokaya combines design technologies and 3D printing with the expertise of pastry makers. The company manufactures customised, unique pastry moulds. The start-up has helped nearly 150 chefs increase their creative freedom, including 30 well-known names such as Pierre Hermé, Cédric Grolet and Michaël Bartocetti. The possibilities of 3D are virtually unlimited.

Maxime Frédéric
George V – Paris

Christophe Michalak

Cédric Grolet
Le Meurice – France

Florent Margaillan
Grand-Hôtel – Cap Ferret

The acquisition is part of the group’s ongoing approach to innovation. With 50 years of product design and development through the Flexipan, Sasa and Silpat brands, the group has satisfied the demanding requirements of not only professionals and industrial groups, but also passionate, skilled consumers. Every year the group’s R&D teams design and launch more than 100 prototype projects. By acquiring Mokaya, Sasa Demarle adds 3D design to its industrial skill set. This will be developed in the years to come, with time-to-market reduced by two-thirds – a significant advantage in the ever-changing pastry market.

The young Paris company is now the group’s fourth brand and will enjoy exposure in more than 120 countries. With their complementary strategic and technological strengths, the two entities will focus on the United States, a high-potential growth market, beginning in 2021. Estimated at $150 million in 2019, the baking accessory market in the USA has an annual growth rate of 5–7% (source: Grandview Research Industry).

Philippe Hémeray, CEO of Sasa Demarle Group, stated, “Thanks to Mokaya, the Sasa Demarle Group has gained access to the coveted world of luxury patisserie. By combining Mokaya’s 4.0 technology with Sasa Demarle’s industrial strength and sales force, we will be able to meet the needs of pastry chefs worldwide even faster than before. We are very happy about this acquisition, which is the combined result of two teams of entrepreneurs who love what they do.”

Geoffrey Taieb, co-founder of Mokaya, had this to say: “The arrival of Mokaya at Sasa Demarle opens new horizons for our start-up, founded in 2017. We aim to accelerate development in France and worldwide thanks to synergies between our pioneering technology and the operational strength of Sasa Demarle. Our complementary industrial strengths and shared values will help us become a key reference in the world of patisserie.” 

Karel Kroupa, partner at Argos Wityu, added: “The business combination of Mokaya and Sasa Demarle is the perfect example of the group’s desire to accelerate the strategic innovation led by Philippe Hémeray and his teams. Customers will benefit from the complementary expertise and technologies of the two companies.”

– – – 

Argos Wityu team: Karel Kroupa, Vincent Yacoub, Paola Alemanno 

Advisors

Buyer advisors
Legal advisors: Jeantet (Philippe Matignon, Pascal Georges, Camille Perodeau)
Tax advisors: Arsene (Franck Chaminade, Diane Kany)
Financial advisors: Diligentia (Pierre Stefaniutyn)

Seller advisors
Legal advisors: Ambre Associés (Eric Kopelman)

Argos Wityu contact
Coralie Cornet
Communication Director
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 Sasa Demarle

www.groupesasademarle.com

With 50 years’ experience the Sasa Demarle group is the specialist in non-stick cooking products for bakers, pastry chefs and all catering trades. Based in northern France, the Group designs, develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of products which facilitate the daily work of more than 50,000 customers and users in 120 countries worldwide. The Sasa®, Flexipan®, Silpat® and now Mokaya® brands have pioneered and succeeded as a result of technological expertise in their business lines, with products of proven, recognised and unrivalled quality. The group’s capacity for innovation, its flexible team of 270 employees and its ability to develop customized solutions have convinced thousands of professionals. Every day Sasa®, Flexipan®, Silpat® and Mokaya® work with a network of experts and passionate cooks.

Mid-market Argos Index® Q3 2020

Mid-market Argos Index® Q3 2020

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs climbed to 10.1x EBITDA
The volume of transactions rose in Q3 but declined over the first nine months year-on-year

18/11/2020 – Press release

Paris (France) – 18 November 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 third 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.

Go to Mid-market Argos Index® Q3 2020

Acquisition prices of unlisted European SMEs has virtually returned to its pre-Covid level

Multiple media EV/EBITDA, 6-mo. rolling basis – Source: Mid-market Argos Index® / Epsilon Research

 

The Argos Index® rose to 10.1x EBITDA as a result of the following factors:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic subsided during the summer, and the eurozone’s economic recovery was quicker than expected;
  • M&A activity recovered, stock markets rose to record levels, and the high end of the mid-market (equity value of €150-500 million) enjoyed high multiples of 11.8x EBITDA.
  • 50% of referenced transactions took place in the healthcare and technology sectors, which escaped the crisis.

 

Strategic buyers driving multiples higher

  • Prices paid by strategic buyers were up, at 10.5x EBITDA. Large, listed companies have represented more than 70% of strategic buyers since the beginning of the year, benefiting in particular from the rapid rise in equities and in their own multiples.
  • The multiples paid by buyout funds were stable at 9.2x EBITDA, whereas transactions increased by 50% compared with the second quarter, reflecting their high level of dry powder.

 

Decline in proportion of transactions at multiples in excess of 20x EBITDA.

In the second and third quarters taken together, transactions with multiples in excess of: 

  • 15x EBITDA represented 19% of transactions, i.e. a proportion similar to that of the second half of 2019.
  • 20x EBITDA totaled 2% of all transactions, i.e. a sharp decline from 2019.

 

Despite the rise in equities, the spread between listed and unlisted companies held steady.

  • The multiples paid by strategic buyers for unlisted companies (10.5x EBITDA) remained higher than the multiples for listed companies (8.5x EBITDA).
  • This difference has been clearly visible for the past two years and persists despite the stock market recovery during the third quarter of 2020.

 

 Recovery in European mid-market M&A activity, but at a level below that of last year.

European mid-market M&A activity:

  • rose in the third quarter, by 40% in volume (to 215 transactions) and 70% in value, in line with the overall M&A market. The rise derived from a catch-up effect and from a faster-than-expected economic recovery.
  • was nevertheless down 13% in volume and 46% in value terms over the first nine months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
  • was most robust in Germany, which registered 27% of third-quarter transactions. France’s share stabilised at 20%, as the proportion of SMEs in its economy is lower

 

Contact – Coralie Cornet – Head of Communications – ccc@argos.fund – +33 (0)6 14 38 33 37

 

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).

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.