London, UK and Paris, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Lyon, France – 10 July 2019 – Argos Wityu, the European independent private equity group, today announced it has entered into exclusive negotiations with funds advised by Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”), the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”), with a view to reaching a definitive agreement for the sale of I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST, the leading French software development companies for automotive manufacturers and dealers. I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST are Argos Fund VI portfolio companies.
I’Car Systems provides an international network of auto dealers with an integrated dealer management system (“DMS”) that simplifies and streamlines dealership activity to improve the relationship between dealers and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”). DATAFIRST develops and deploys three key modular management, marketing and sales solutions for the automotive market: Automotive CRM, Automotive DMS and Web & Business Intelligence solutions.
Since Argos Wityu’s acquisition in 2013, revenues at I’Car Systems have grown by more than 50% mainly due to:
- significant recruitment efforts in product development, marketing and services;
- investment in product innovation; and
- international expansion, notably through the acquisition of its Spanish and Portuguese distributors.
With Argos Wityu’s support, I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST merged in April 2018 to create a French leader with greater growth ambitions.
The transaction is subject to the customary pre-acquisition approvals.
Argos Wityu (Karel Kroupa, Antoine Forgeard)
M&A: Capitalmind (Michel Degryck, Jean-Arthur Dattée, Karim Mekouar)
Legal: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Rémy Blain, Mathieu Taupin, Stanislas Boyer)
Finance : Grant Thornton (Frédéric Zeitoun, Fabien Lesur, Jean-Baptiste Dauriac)
Tax: Arsène Taxand (Franck Chaminade, Vincent Briand, Blandine Trabut-Cussac)
Providence Strategic Growth
M&A: GCA Altium (Hugues Archambault, Matthieu Gaveau)
Legal: Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Emmanuelle Henry, Guillaume de Danne, Akim Ouint), Uria Menéndez (Christian Hoedl Eigel, Miguel Bolivar Tejedo, Miguel Stokes, Daniel Gurrea Boix, Marta Rocabert Cruz)
Finance: FTI Consulting (Aneesh Maloo, Anton Chernousenko, Leandro Nunes, Ivo Hobson)
Tax: Andersen Tax & Legal / STC Partners (Pierre Bouley, Stéphanie Desprez, Javier Vinuesa, Oliver Padilla, Sergio Chacon, Cristina Manzano)
Social: BTH Avocats (Elisa Bardavid)
Technology: Crosslake (Jim Leeds, Alan Henderson, Nicolas Chéronet)
I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST
+33 1 83 62 55 49
Head of Communications
+33 6 14 38 33 37
Providence Strategic Growth
Sard Verbinnen & Co
+44 207 4671 050
DATAFIRST develops and deploys modular management, marketing and sales solutions for the automotive market: Automotive CRM, Automotive DMS, Web & Business Intelligence solutions. DATAFIRST was founded in 1985 and today has over 150 employees. The company headquarters are in Lyon and it maintains an active global presence with several tens of thousands of users throughout Europe. DATAFIRST has built strategic alliances with local partners who are themselves specialists in the automotive distribution sector. A renowned leader in its markets, DATAFIRST anticipates the technological evolutions and successive mutations of its ecosystem for an optimal sustainability alongside its users, vehicle Manufacturers and Dealers and partners.
About I’Car Systems Groupe
I’Car Systems Groupe develops I’Car DMS, a dealer management system (DMS) software dedicated to automotive industry. I’Car DMS is a pan European solution deployed in 7 European countries and dedicated to small, medium and large size dealer groups equipment. The company also provides project management, training, and customer support services in addition to solutions for automotive repairers, multi-brands automotive distributors and automotive spare parts warehouses. Based in Indre-et-Loire, France, the company was founded in 1979 and has over 150 employees.
Visit www.icarsystems.fr to learn more about the company.
About Argos Wityu / www.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 more than €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.
About Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners LLC
Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”) is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). Established in 2014, PSG focuses on growth equity investments in lower middle market software and technology-enabled service companies. Providence is a premier global asset management firm that pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London. For more information on PSG, please visit https://www.provequity.com/private-equity/psg, and for more information on Providence, please visit https://www.provequity.com.