Paris, September 7th 2012 - Bryan, Garnier & Co the independent pan-European Investment bank focusing on growth companies, announces the completion, early August, of a secondary management buy-out of Solware Group with private equity fund Pechel Industries. This transaction allows Initiative & Finance to exit Solware while the CEO Gérald Ferraro and his management team increase their stake in the capital.
Solware has been a French key player among software vendors dedicated to companies operating in automotive sales and repair for 25 years, with a current portfolio of more than 3,000 garages, agents and automotive dealers. Solware has also successfully developed a healthcare division dedicated to nursing homes through acquisitions carried out between 2004 and 2009. In less than 8 years, the Group has become the French leader of ERPs dedicated to nursing homes, with nearly 3,000 customers.
Initiative & Finance invested in the Company in 2008 when the founder of the Group retired and was replaced by his nephew Gerald Ferraro as CEO. Since then, Initiative & Finance has supported the company in his growth strategy both through external growth and organically. Solware has generated an annual growth rate of its sales of more than 20% per year since 2008, reaching revenues close to €22m in 2011 with more than 7,000 customers in France and abroad.
As shareholders intended to reshape the Group's ownership and allow the Management to become majority shareholders, they mandated Bryan, Garnier & Co to carry out a secondary leverage buy-out around the Management Team. In this transaction, Pechel intends to bring its expertise in the automotive sector as it already holds a stake in Précisium, the third French automotive replacement components retailer selling for more than €500m of business volume.
Thanks to its new financial partner, Solware Group will benefit from the resources to pursue its external growth strategy, as already demonstrated in June by its recent acquisition of a software vendor dedicated to the automotive agents and dealers. Gérald Ferraro stated "Within a 3-month tight timeframe, Bryan, Garnier & Co. demonstrated its ability to be strongly involved and efficient to accompany Solware's shareholders and to select the appropriate financial partner able to support the Group in its on-going development strategy. Our goal was to pursue the successful path that has been taken with Initiative & Finance for four years."
Bryan, Garnier & Co was also in charge of the structuring of the deal's funding. According to Audrey Gennequin, Director within the Corporate Finance team: "In spite of financing conditions affected by the current market uncertainties, financing banks were strongly interested and motivated by the quality of the Management Team, the recurrence of Solware's revenues and the intrinsic performance of the company allowing us to secure a bank underwriting in less than three months, thus ensuring the funding of the MBO".
" This operation is the 5th transaction led by Bryan, Garnier & Co in the software sector in 2012; It confirms our leading position in this sector and our ability to achieve this type of transaction in very volatile market conditions and with very tight schedules", says Thibaut De Smedt, Partner at Bryan, Garnier & Co.
For more information, please contact:
Thibaut De Smedt / Partner - Corporate Finance / +33 1 56 68 75 75 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Audrey Gennequin / Director - Corporate Finance / +33 1 56 68 75 27 / email@example.com
Bertrand Schapiro / Associate - Corporate Finance / +33 1 56 68 75 08 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan, Garnier & Co: the leading investment bank in the Software sector
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