Naxicap Partners acquires European Cargo Services

Cate­gory: Private Equity
13. June 2018

Paris — Ardian, a world-leading private invest­ment house, announ­ces the arran­ge­ment of a unitran­che finan­cing faci­lity to support Naxi­cap Part­ners’ acqui­si­tion of Euro­pean Cargo Services (“ECS”), a world leading Global Gene­ral Sales Agent, mana­ging 900k tonnes of air cargo on behalf of airlines, repre­sen­ting an annual sales volume of over €1bn. The unitran­che package will also include a dedi­ca­ted commit­ted acqui­si­tion faci­lity to support the growth of the Company and finance future build ups.

Foun­ded in 1998 in Paris, ECS Group has built an effi­ci­ent world­wide network of 137 offices across 47 count­ries, with over 1,000 staff working as a fully inte­gra­ted orga­niza­tion. ECS is a stra­te­gic part­ner for airlines and as their exclu­sive repre­sen­ta­tive, markets and mana­ges even their most complex cargo requirements.

Its global foot­print is the product of both orga­nic and exter­nal growth, resul­ting in a dense global network, with major recent acqui­si­ti­ons such as AVS in Asia (2016) and ExpAir in Canada (2017) streng­thening ECS’s posi­tion in markets with strong growth potential.

In a market ripe for conso­li­da­tion, offe­ring a strong pool of build-up oppor­tu­ni­ties, the Company intends to pursue an active stra­tegy of acqui­si­ti­ons, gene­ra­ting signi­fi­cant commer­cial syner­gies, while conti­nuing to extend the range of services offe­red to clients, provi­ding global and inno­va­tive solutions.

Backed by Alpha Private Equity since 2013, the manage­ment team selec­ted Naxi­cap Part­ners for the next phase of growth, supported by a unitran­che faci­lity provi­ded by Ardian. “With ECS’ clear ambi­tion of selec­tively pene­t­ra­ting and rein­for­cing its posi­ti­ons in key areas of its alre­ady broad network, the Unitran­che alter­na­tive stood out as a compel­ling solu­tion to acce­le­rate the Company’s growth in the next few years” commen­ted Grégory Pernot, Direc­tor of Private Debt at Ardian France.

Angèle Faugier, Part­ner at Naxi­cap Part­ners, added: “ECS has demons­tra­ted an amazing growth trajec­tory under the leader­ship of Bert­rand Schmoll and Adrien Thomi­net who have succee­ded in both deve­lo­ping and struc­tu­ring the Group around solid funda­men­tals (high-quality client port­fo­lio, an inte­gra­ted global network, effi­ci­ent local teams, premium services). We are convin­ced that the Group has what it takes to estab­lish itself as the major conso­li­da­tion plat­form in the market and to be a driving force for inno­va­tion in the cargo indus­try. We want to provide its manage­ment team with the means to put their ambi­tious deve­lo­p­ment plans into action, and are convin­ced that the exper­tise of Ardian, through this unitran­che finan­cing, which grants us flexi­bi­lity and speed of execu­tion, will enable us to rapidly achieve our goals.”

“We are proud to have convin­ced Naxi­cap and ECS’ manage­ment team of the merits of our offer, and are deligh­ted to be a key part­ner of the Group going forward. We have been very impres­sed by the Company’s histo­ri­cal deve­lo­p­ment and by the quality and loyalty of the manage­ment team for over twenty years” said Guil­laume Chinar­det, Head of Private Debt France and Mana­ging Direc­tor at Ardian. “This is our 108th tran­sac­tion since the crea­tion of Ardian’s Private Debt acti­vity, reflec­ting the long­stan­ding track-record of the team since 2005, as well as our capa­city to under­write unitran­che tran­sac­tions of signi­fi­cant size.”

Ardian is a world-leading private invest­ment house with assets of US$71bn mana­ged or advi­sed in Europe, North America and Asia. The company is majo­rity-owned by its employees. It keeps entre­pre­neur­ship at its heart and focu­ses on deli­ve­ring excel­lent invest­ment perfor­mance to its global inves­tor base. Through its commit­ment to shared outco­mes for all stake­hol­ders, Ardian’s acti­vi­ties fuel indi­vi­dual, corpo­rate and econo­mic growth around the world.

Holding close its core values of excel­lence, loyalty and entre­pre­neur­ship, Ardian main­ta­ins a truly global network, with more than 500 employees working from thir­teen offices across Europe (Frank­furt, Jersey, London, Luxem­bourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), North America (New York, San Fran­cisco) and Asia (Beijing, Singa­pore, Tokyo). It mana­ges funds on behalf of 700 clients through five pillars of invest­ment exper­tise: Private Debt, Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infra­struc­ture and Real Estate.

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