London – Nov 8th, 2002 – Bryan, Garnier & Co (www.bryangarnier.com), a pan-European, independent investment bank focusing on European growth companies, announced today that it has successfully completed a EUR 16.3 million private placement for ASK (www.ask.fr), the leader in the contactless smart card market for the transportation sector. The private placement comprised an international syndication led by Apax Partners and also included German fund AdAstra and Singaporean fund Iglobe Partners. Existing investors CDC and Credit Lyonnais Private Equity also subscribed to the round.
Created in 1997 and headquartered in Sophia Antipolis (France), ASK is currently a leader in the field of contactless microprocessor smart cards and contactless tickets. More than 7 million regular or occasional users in the world are currently holders of contactless cards or paper tickets produced by ASK. They profit from a technology combining speed, security and simplified validation in transport applications and access control.
Commenting on the announcement, Georges Kayanakis, CEO of ASK said: “In a difficult environment we had the privilege to choose the best partners in addition to our historical investors in this essential phase of our development. The commitment of the international fund Apax Partners, and the arrival of new investors with significant regional presence, AdAstra in Germany and Iglobe-Partners in Singapore, reinforces our development strategy and our capacity to continue our international expansion with the main objective of being the main actor in the field of the contactless smart card.”
Speaking today Gregoire Revenu, a Bryan, Garnier & Co Managing Director in Corporate Finance, said: "This significant equity round, which gathers leading venture capital funds, provides ASK with the financial resources and the shareholders’ support necessary to reach its ambitious goals. Bryan, Garnier & Co will keep supporting the company in its expansion strategy, in accordance with our commitment to our clients.”
This placement enhances Bryan, Garnier & Co’s leading position in the syndication of later stage private placements for Technology companies in Europe. Bryan, Garnier & Co is one of the very few investment banks in Europe that have always considered private placement as a strategic practice within its corporate finance service. For Gregoire Revenu, “a private placement is the starting point of a long term relationship with the companies we are working with. Indeed, our objective is to assist our clients in all aspects of their corporate finance issues, including further fund raisings, M&A activities and IPOs”. Bryan, Garnier & Co has developed a private placement expertise thanks to a team that combines investment bankers, former venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
In April 2002 Bryan, Garnier & Co raised a third round of EUR 8m for the French company Esual, which is a software provider in the emerging X-Internet sector. This was followed in June 2002 by a EUR 10m Private Placement for Telisma, a leader in the area of speech recognition for telecom operators. In March 2002 Bryan, Garnier & Co, pioneered the French Nouveau Marché with one of the first Private Placement in Public Equity (PIPE) in a technology company for Cast Software in the amount of EUR 7m.
About ASK (www.ask.fr)
Founded in 1997, ASK is today a world leader in the design, development, marketing and manufacturing of dual interface contactless smart cards and contactless paper tickets. Since commencing operations, ASK has sold its products to over 30 public transportation providers located in over 10 countries. The company realized in 2001 a turnover of 11,6 million euros and forecasts revenues of 21,5 million euros in 2002. ASK profits from solid references (the RATP, the SNCF, ASCOM, ERG, Thalès, IBM, EDF and more than 35 cities in the world of which Paris, Manchester, Lyon, Toronto, Nice, Lisbon, Venice, Rome, Naples or Taipei). The proceeds of this fundraising will be used in production expansion and international sales activity, particularly in America and Asia.
About Bryan, Garnier & Co (www.bryangarnier.com)
Bryan, Garnier & Co is a pan-European, independent investment bank that focuses on European growth companies. With 60 professionals based in London, Paris and Geneva, Bryan, Garnier & Co covers three major activities: Research and Brokerage, Asset Management and Corporate Finance.
Bryan, Garnier & Co is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in London and is a member of the London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ Europe and Euro NM.
Bryan, Garnier & Co's Corporate Finance activity serves the European High Tech sector, supporting TMT companies in their development strategies through later stage private placements, mergers and acquisitions and public offerings. Bryan, Garnier & Co is one of the leading investment banks in Europe in the market of later stage private placements in the TMT sector.