Bryan, Garnier & Co. successfully leads a €66.1 million capital increase for Sword Group

Bryan, Garnier & Co. successfully leads a €66.1 million capital increase for Sword Group

One of the largest follow on offerings for a high tech company since the beginning of the year
News published on March Tuesday 6, 2007
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PARIS – March 6, 2007 -  Bryan, Garnier & Co (“Bryan Garnier”), the independent pan-European investment bank focused on European growth companies, today announced the closing of a €66.1 million capital raising of common stock for Sword Group (Euronext : SWP). Bryan Garnier was sole lead manager and bookrunner on this transaction. 

One of the largest follow-on offerings since the beginning of the year on Euronext, the Sword Group offering consisted of a capital increase without rights attached with no secondary shares sold by current shareholders. The management’s strong track record and the company’s strong fundamentals were highlighted by the significant over subscription rate of 5 times of the institutional tranche. 

This transaction is the second offering in 18 months that Bryan Garnier has led on Sword Group, after a €49 m secondary offering by the firm’s main financial shareholder, 21 Centrale Partners (part of the 21 Investimenti Group created by Alessandro Benetton), in October 2005. 

It also follows a string of ECM offerings in both high tech & biotech sectors, which Bryan Garnier specialises in, such as 1855, Innate Pharma, Risc Group, BioAlliance, Transgene and Stedim. 

Commenting on the transaction, Greg Revenu, Managing Director and head of Corporate Finance at Bryan Garnier, said, “Sword Group is one of the most successful European IT Services companies, reinforcing its combined products and services strategy by implementing a software oriented acquisition plan made possible by this key financing.” 

Sword Group, that has grown its revenues from €33 m in 2002 to €142 m in 2006 whilst maintaining a 15% EBIT margin, intends to use the funds raised to finance yearly targeted external growth of approximately €30m in terms of revenues with €25m in the Software sector. With an organic growth of 15%, combined with its targeted external growth, the company's corporate development will be well balanced. 

Jacques Mottard, President & CEO of Sword Group, commented. “Once again Bryan Garnier’s industry expertise and level of commitment proved critical in the success of this offering. We were very pleased with the prior offering led by them in terms of increasing the international scope of our investor base and we decided to further our relation with this primary offering. We were able to price at €40 per share close to the all time high of c. €42.50 in a challenging market environment.” 

Commenting on the transaction, Olivier Garnier, Managing Director of Bryan Garnier said, “This transaction clearly illustrates our ability to successfully deliver for our clients even in volatile markets. Our capacity to manage a follow-on offering in an adverse capital market environment demonstrates our close relationships with international investors and the ability of our experienced investment bankers to provide advice and deliver solutions to our clients. The potent combination of seasoned investment banking veterans with the entrepreneurial boutique-level attention continues to serve our clients needs and goals.”

For more information, please contact:
Mani Pillai / Kerstin Voelkel / Stefanie Schneider
Penrose Financial       + 44 20 7786 4888
Jacques Mottard / Sword Group / + 33 4 72 85 37 42

About Sword Group (www.sword-group.com)
Founded in December 2000 by Jacques MOTTARD, Sword Group operates as a trusted IT supplier of compliance solutions to the enterprise and has successfully built an unsurpassed track record of technical expertise in specialised information management solutions. The Company delivers best of breed products through a network of partners and resellers, providing business benefits to its international customer base. Sword Group’s experience as a specialist IT supplier, combined with domain knowledge and expertise has enabled the company to deliver a totally client centric solution. SWORD has demonstrated stability for continued growth through well-proven financial governance, whilst pursuing an ambitious acquisitions programme to enhance existing market sectors. This has made it possible for SWORD to grow from a European centric organisation into a global, industry focused supplier. Based in Lyon, France Sword Group activities are worldwide with more than 65% of revenues outside of the Eurozone. As of December 31, 2006, Sword Group had 1 501 employees.

About Bryan, Garnier & Co (www.bryangarnier.com)
 
Bryan Garnier is an independent European investment bank focused on European companies offering high growth potential.   
With 85 professionals based in London, Paris and Geneva, Bryan Garnier offers the expertise of a fully-fledged investment bank with the personalised attention and long-term client client relationships of a boutique investment bank. 
Key to the firm’s success, Bryan Garnier’s equity research team provides independent fundamental bottom-up analysis and recommendations in published sector and company reports with a Pan-European focus on companies from five core growth sectors: TMT, Health & Life Sciences, B2C & Speciality Retailing, Energy & Environment and Business Services & Outsourcing. Bryan Garnier has deployed its expertise for 10 years for the benefit of its institutional and private clients in corporate finance, brokerage, asset management and equity research.
Bryan, Garnier & Co Ltd is regulated by the FSA, and a member of LSE and EURONEXT. 
More information is available at www.bryangarnier.com.
 

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