Bryan, Garnier & Co advises Sogelink’s Shareholders on their Secondary Buy-out

Bryan, Garnier & Co advises Sogelink’s Shareholders on their Secondary Buy-out

News published on April Tuesday 23, 2013
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Paris, April 18 2013 – Bryan, Garnier & Co the independent pan-European Investment bank focusing on growth companies, announces the completion of the secondary leveraged buy-out of Sogelink led by its founders and the private equity funds R Capital Management and CM-CIC LBO Partners while this transaction allowed Initiative & Finance to exit Sogelink

Created in 2000 by Ignace Vantorre (Chairman) and joined soon after by Matthieu Ponson (CEO), Sogelink was established as a niche provider of digitization solutions, software and services dedicated to the building sites market. The Company’s solutions are addressing the whole concerned parties: project and asset owners, contractors and local authorities. As the French leading digital platform on its market, the Company has been attracting ever-more customers on its unique collaborative platform, the Group is now counting 6,500 customers, c.40,000 users and there are more than 1 million of documents exchanged each day through the platform. Sogelink also provides software solutions dedicated to local authorities (coordination of building sites and road markings) and to asset owners (geographical information system).

Based in Caluire-et-Cuire (France), Sogelink benefited from a 60% growth in sales in 2012, posting a turnover of €17m. Sogelink has faced a two-fold increase of its employees for the last 15 months and should exceed 100 employees at the end of 2013 since the Group intends to pursue its growth strategy for the coming years: “We constantly innovate in solutions which simplify and strengthen the security of our customers’ day-to-day activities. To meet our customers’ expectations, we either run in-house development or make some targeted acquisitions”, highlighted Matthieu Ponson. “We keep on optimizing our online platform while adding ever-more new services”.

Sogelink’s shareholders mandated Bryan, Garnier & Co to identify the potential partners able to pursue Sogelink’s growth strategy in France and abroad. “We intend to expand our footprint in Europe and thanks to our strong expertise we also want to deliver our solutions to our clients abroad. As we are very ambitious for the Group, it was key for us to have the appropriate process targeting the right partners able to understand our current business and to support Sogelink in the next phase of our development”, stated Ignace Vantorre.

Sogelink’s shareholders required that we ran a limited competitive process within a tight calendar and with a limited number of chosen parties. Sogelink’s unique success story and its growing ecosystem have immediately generated a strong interest from investors”, emphasized Audrey Gennequin, Director within Bryan, Garnier & Co.

The entry of R Capital Management and CM-CIC LBO Partners is in line with their investment strategy. “Through its platform DICT.fr, Sogelink has developed a profitable model responding to the growing demand for simplification and digitization of procedures. Hence, we are pleased to participate in Sogelink’s ambitious strategy both in France and in Europe”, stated Jean-Michel Beghin, Managing Partner within R Capital Management. “Sogelink’s business plan shares the same objectives of the companies in our portfolio: increase their service offering while strengthening the ties with their customers. Sogelink’s management will pursue their objective through external growth and in-house development, and CM-CIC LBO Partners will support them to achieve their goal”, underlined Bertrand Fesneau, Chairman of the Executive Board.

« Following the sale of Alti to Tata Consultancy Services, this operation confirms our leadership in TMT. This transaction highlights our ability to deliver tailor-made solutions to growing companies and to their stakeholders», stated Thibaut De Smedt, Partner at Bryan, Garnier & Co. 

List of participants

Sellers

Initiative & Finance (Thierry Giron, Sylvain Caillat)

Managers (Ignace Vantorre, Matthieu Ponson)

Financial advisor: Bryan, Garnier & Co (Thibaut de Smedt, Audrey Gennequin, Bertrand Schapiro)

Legal advisor: Lamartine Conseil (Fabien Mauvais, Fanny Malgat)


Investors/ Buyers

RCapital Management (Jean-Michel Beghin, Philippe Crochet, Gregory Agez)

CM-CIC LBO Partners (Bertrand Fesneau, Gontran Duchesne)

Managers (Ignace Vantorre, Matthieu Ponson)

Investors’ legal advisor: De Pardieu Brocas Maffei (Jean-François Pourdieu, Jessica Derocque, Alexandre Wibaux)

Managers’ legal advisor): Lamartine Conseil (Fabien Mauvais, Fanny Malgat)

Financial audit: Ernst & Young

Strategic audit: PMSI

Legal audit: De Pardieu Brocas Maffei


Lead Bank Arranges

Crédit Lyonnais (Fabienne Martini)

BNP Paribas  (Hervé Desbief)

Legal advisor: Hogan Lovells (Sabine Bironneau-Loy)


Mezzanine

Idinvest (François Lacoste, Nicolas Nedelec)

Legal advisor: Wragge


About Sogelink (www.sogelink.fr)

Sogelink was founded in 2000 by Ignace Vantorre as a niche provider of digitization solutions, software and services dedicated to the construction market. As one of the pioneers in terms of process optimization, Sogelink provides efficient solutions to improving data exchanges while re-engineering processes to deliver day-to-day benefits to the industry as a whole: project and asset owners, contractors and local authorities.

Sogelink was the first actor in France to offer dedicated digital exchange solutions through its online platform DICT.fr. The Group has now more than 40,000 users.


About Initiative & Finance (www.initiative-finance.com)

Initiative & Finance is one the leading actor of Private Equity in France, entirely dedicated to the funding and transmission of SMEs.

Initiative & Finance’s mission is to support managing entrepreneurs in the realization of their projects: capital restructuring, transmission, growth acceleration, acquisition strategy, etc.

About Bryan, Garnier & Co (www.bryangarnier.com)

Bryan, Garnier & Co Bryan, Garnier & Co is an independent investment bank specialized in European TMT, Healthcare and Renewable Energies growth companies. Bryan, Garnier & Co is positioned in three activities: Equity Research & Brokerage, Asset Management and Corporate Finance.

With more than 150 professionals based in London, Paris, New Delhi, New York and Geneva, Bryan, Garnier & Co combines the range of services and the expertise of top-tier investment banks with the level of attention to clients of a boutique.

Through its corporate finance practice, Bryan, Garnier & Co has become a leader in advising European growth companies on strategic finance transactions such as mergers & acquisitions, equity capital market, LBOs and private placement over the last three years.

Bryan, Garnier & Co is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct  Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, and is member of London Stock Exchange and Euronext, Alternext Listing Sponsor, and is active on all European capital markets.


About R Capital Management (www.rcapitalmanagement.com)

R Capital Management is a European growth equity firm sponsored by Rothschild and managing funds backed by leading European institutional investors.

R Capital Management targets first-class international projects to finance organic growth or build-up strategies, or to cash out existing shareholders.

Specific sectors of interest include Information Technology, Healthcare, and Energy. In each of these sectors, its team, made up of investment professionals, provide insights and expertise through its entrepreneurial and operational background.


About CM-CIC LBO PARTNERS (www.cmciclbopartners.fr)

Launched in 2004, CIC LBO Partners manages more than €300m through funds open predominantly to third-party investors and backed by the Group Crédit Mutuel – CIC. Those funds are invested as a majority shareholder in investments ranging from €35m to €175m. 

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