Ardian invests in SERMA Group together with management
Paris/ Frankfurt a. M. — Ardian, one of the world’s leading independent investment companies, has acquired a stake in SERMA Group, Europe’s leading independent provider of consulting and services in the fields of electronic technologies, integrated systems and information systems. The closing of the transaction is still subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.
The Ardian Expansion team had already invested in SERMA Group in 2015 and has supported the company’s growth since then, in particular through acquisitions and the founding of the “SERMA Safety & Security” business unit.
The renewed participation of Ardian Expansion alongside the management and employees of SERMA Group, who continue to hold the majority of the company, is another important step in the company’s development. In addition to the main shareholder Ardian, Chequers Capital and Bpifrance remain as further minority shareholders.
SERMA Group is excellently positioned in numerous niche solutions of electronic components and systems with high value added depth in various high-growth sectors. The company controls the entire value chain, from development, testing, production and maintenance to training. The Group has unique technological expertise in electronics, energy, cybersecurity and telecommunications for sectors such as aerospace, transportation, energy, medical and telecommunications.
Ardian will support SERMA Group in its further growth strategy. In recent years, the Group has successfully developed beyond its established range of products and services and entered new markets, which include, for example, the energy market and the nuclear industry. The establishment of SERMA Energy, a competence and test platform for batteries, power electronics and electric drive trains with a wide range of applications, will further accelerate the company’s growth in the energy sector.
In the last ten years, the company’s sales have almost tripled to almost 150 million euros and the number of employees currently exceeds 1,300.
“We have known SERMA Group for twelve years and have built a very trusting relationship with the company and its management team over the course of our long-term involvement. We are looking forward to working with the highly experienced team again and in particular to further accelerate the Group’s growth. The company is ideally positioned to benefit from key megatrends, particularly in the context of the digitalization of the economy. Our goal is to continue to drive external growth and increase international market share based on the Group’s innovation capabilities.” So Arnaud Dufer (photo, © Ardian), Managing Director and head of France of the ARDIAN EXPANSION-teamS.
“We are very pleased that Ardian has once again invested in SERMA Group. In recent years, despite an environment marked by the effects of the pandemic, we have gradually developed into one of the leading companies in Europe, thanks to the support of Chequers Capital. We have now reached a critical size that allows us to enter a new phase of our development. We see particular potential in the growing importance of decarbonization of the economy and in the area of cybersecurity. We are proud that, in addition to the management team, nearly 500 employees have a stake in SERMA Group — proof that they believe in the success of the company,” explains Philippe Berlié , President of SERMA GROUP.
“Chequers Capital has successfully supported SERMA’s development alongside its management team over the last twelve years. The key to the company’s success lies in the quality of its teams, the constant pursuit of excellence and operational efficiency, and a strong technical competence that characterizes the company in all its business areas. We are proud of the progress and developments achieved in the fields of electronics, electric drives and safety, which meet the growing, essential and long-term needs of our society. Chequers supports SERMA Group with Philippe Berlié and his team in this new phase, which will be characterized by accelerated organic growth as well as international expansion. Chequers, Ardian and BPI will bring all their experience to the successful continuation of this project,” says Aurelien Klein, Managing Director at chequers capital.
Companies involved in the transaction:
Arnaud Dufer, Maxime Séquier, Romain Gautron, Pierre Peslerbe
Legal Advisors: McDermott Will & Emery (Grégoire Andrieux, Fabrice Piollet, Côme de Saint-Vincent, Boris Wolkoff)
Aurélien Klein, Emeric Boo d’Arc, Jérôme Kinas
Legal Advisors: Hogan Lovells (Stéphane Huten, Arnaud Deparday)
Advisors of Ardian Expansion and Chequers Capital
Legal, tax and social due diligence: McDermott Will & Emery (Grégoire Andrieux, Fabrice Piollet, Côme de Saint-Vincent, Boris Wolkoff)
Commercial Due Diligence: The Boston Consulting Group (Benjamin Sarfati, Julien Vialade)
Financial Due Diligence: Ernst & Young (Emmanuel Picard, Elsa Abou Mrad, Alban Molle)
ESG Due Diligence: PwC (Sylvain Lambert, Chloé Szpirglas)
Insurance Due Diligence: Finaxy (Déborah Hauchemaille)
IT Due Diligence: Netsystem (Olivier Cazzulo, Lionel Gros)
Philippe Berlié, Xavier Morin, Mirentxu Boutet, Olivier Duchmann, Bernard Ollivier
Legal Advisors: Apollo (Florence Savouré, Laura Smyrliadis, Iyad El Borini, Delphine Dilleman), Chepeau Lumeau & Associés (Frédérique Lumeau)
About SERMA Group
SERMA Group is an independent French company with expertise in electronics, energy, cybersecurity and telecommunications. The traditional medium-sized company recently achieved sales of €150 million with 1,300 employees. The Group has developed significantly in recent years through numerous investments in resources as well as external growth. These related in particular to the areas of design, testing, know-how and technology.
The Group’s various business units accompany their customers throughout the entire life cycle, which includes the control of their products, their reliability, safety and function. The Group’s expertise is based on its electronics technical laboratories, its materials laboratory, its various test platforms (components, boards, devices, power electronics, electric motors, batteries, safety), its development offices and experts who act as a point of contact for its customers.
The SERMA Group is founded on five strategic pillars:
— Electronic technologies and materials
— System security and cybersecurity
— Embedded systems development
— Microelectronic design and assembly
— Expertise and energy testing (batteries, drive chains)
The group has 20 sites in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Tunisia, each close to its customers, who come from different industries. serma.com
Ardian is a leading global independent investment firm. The company manages or advises on approximately US$130 billion in assets for more than 1,300 investors worldwide. Thanks to its extensive expertise in private equity, real assets and credit, Ardian offers a wide range of investment opportunities as well as customized investment solutions — tailored to investors’ needs: Ardian Customized Solutions enables institutional investors to access best-in-class managers across all asset classes through a customized portfolio. Ardian Private Wealth Solutions also offers a range of services specifically geared to high net worth individuals. Ardian is majority owned by its employees and places great emphasis on their development, as well as a culture of collaboration based on an active exchange of knowledge and experience. The more than 900 employees at 15 office locations in Europe, North and South America and Asia, follow the principles of responsible investing. Ardian’s mission is to make a positive contribution to society through its investments and to create value that lasts. Ardian aims to deliver excellent returns in line with high ethical standards and social responsibility. At Ardian, everyone is dedicated to building successful companies for the long term. ardian.com
About Cherquers Capital
Chequers is one of the oldest private equity investment companies in continental Europe and was founded in Paris almost 50 years ago. Chequers is currently investing in its 17th investment vehicle, which can take majority or minority stakes in growth companies in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Benelux and Iberia. The team of 23 experienced professionals from six nations contributes its experience and expertise to the development of currently around 20 investments. chequerscapital.com