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Unipex Group announces future owner IK Investment Partners

Press Releases

Unipex Group announces future owner IK Investment Partners A new partner to ensure Unipex Group’s future growth and reinforce its leading global position

Paris, 10 September, 2012 – Unipex Group, a leading global manufacturer and distributor of natural active ingredients and specialty chemicals for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutrition and industrial sectors, is pleased to announce that it has a new ownership in place. AXA Private Equity has signed an agreement for the sale of 100% of its interest in Unipex Group to the IK2007 Fund advised by IK Investment Partners. The completion of the transaction is subject to certain customary conditions, but the parties expect the transaction to be completed by the end of September.

Patrice Barthelmes, CEO, Unipex Group, said:  “We would like to thank AXA Private Equity for its active ownership during these four years, which has enabled us to gain a leading position. We remain focused on the future growth of our business and will continue to offer high quality products and services to our customers.  We look forward to working with IK Investment Partners as we grow Unipex Group’s leading global market position. We anticipate a successful close to 2012 and are excited about the many opportunities we see in our target markets.”

AXA Private Equity originally acquired Unipex from Atrium Group in 2008. Since then, Unipex’s revenues have steadily increased to €200 million in 2012. A combination of organic growth and four build-up acquisitions have enabled the Group to extend both its geographic reach and product offering, therefore gaining a leading position within its core markets.

Over recent years, Unipex Group has strengthened its position as a world-class company serving the needs of a high-end clientele across five continents.  Unipex Group has built strong relationships with its customers, partners and suppliers, launched innovative products and been appointed by major suppliers to represent them in key markets. Unipex Group has also received many prestigious industry awards for the development of new products. Unipex Group will remain under the leadership of Patrice Barthelmes and the existing management team.

Béatrice Beitmann, Managing Director, AXA Private Equity, said: “Despite the tough economic environment, with our support Unipex Group has successfully implemented its growth strategy and ensured the next stage of its development. Our continued commitment and support has seen the Group become a major global player in its sector. The company is now well equipped to continue its future growth in its key markets.”

Rémi Buttiaux, Partner at IK and advisor to the IK2007 Fund, said: “Unipex is led by an exceptional management team which has established leading positions in its target markets. Its diversified business mix has proven to be resilient to recession while benefiting from increasing demand for natural cosmetic products. We are looking forward to supporting Unipex expand its offering and leverage its market position.”


AXA Private Equity: Béatrice Beitmann, Yann Bak, Olivier Parmentier
Financial advisor to AXA Private Equity: Lazard – Alexandre Benais, Geoffroi de Saint Chamas, Matthieu Guillard
Legal advisor to AXA Private Equity: SJ Berwin -Maxence Bloch, David Diamant


IK Investment Partners; Dan Soudry, Rémi Buttiaux, Benoît Leblanc, Arnaud Bosc, Diki Korniloff
Financial advisor to IK Investment Partners: Société Générale – François Vigne, Daniel Morrissette
Strategic & Operations DD: A.T. Kearney – Jérôme Souied, Hugo Azerad, Julien Hereng
Financial DD: Ernst & Young – Daniel Benquis, Alexia Acrivopoulos, Nicolas Le Pierres

Tax DD and Structuring: White & Case -Norbert Majerholc
Legal DD & Corporate: White & Case – Vincent Morin, Camille Note
Bank Documentation: Willkie Farr & Gallagher -Eduardo Fernandez, Paul Lombard, Igor Kuhkta
Bank Documentation (Banks): Nabarro Hinge -Jonathan Nabarro, Calixte Glotin
Debt Financing: Ares -Aurélien Loszycer, Axel CordonnierLFPI -César Rodriguez Montes, Mailys Dang-Ngoc

Frieh Bouhenic -Michel Frieh
Oloryn – Frédéric Jannin, Roland de Farcy, Aurélien Hanin


Patrice Barthelmes
CEO Tel : +33 1 47 32 81 37 or +1 418 653 60 05

Louis-Georges Gauvin
Vice-President Finance & Administration
Tel.: +1 418 653-6888 ext.218

HeadLand Consultancy
Ben Girdlestone
Tel: +44 207 3675 243 

Daniel Kahn
Tel: +44 207 3675 247

Dan Soudry, Partner / Rémi Buttiaux, Partner
Tel : +33 1 44 43 06 60

Charlotte Laveson, Communication Manager
Tel : +44 20 7304 7136

Sibylle Descamps, Agence Keima 
Tel : +33 1 56 43 44 72

About IK Investment Partners

IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is a Pan-European private equity firm focused on investments in three regions; the Nordics, Germany/CEE and France Benelux. Since its founding in 1989, IK has invested approximately €5.6 billion in over 80 European companies. IK invests with the management of mid-sized companies that have strong improvement potential, operating in the business services, care, industrial goods and consumer goods sectors. The current portfolio comprises 21 companies with total turnover of close to €7.5 billion and over 47,000 employees. For more information visit our website:

About Unipex Group

Unipex Group is a privately held company specializing in the development, production, marketing and distribution of active ingredients, specialty chemicals and other chemical products in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, nutrition and industrial sectors. It is also active in the areas of vigilance and consumer testing through its Iris division. Its distribution and marketing network serves more than 50 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. It counts six offices across North America and Europe. Additional information regarding the Unipex Group is available on its website

About AXA Private Equity

AXA Private Equity is a world leader in private equity, with assets of $28 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia. The company offers its investors a wide choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes: Funds of Funds (primary, early secondary and secondary), Direct Funds including Infrastructure, Small and Mid Market Enterprise Capital, Innovation & Growth, Co-Investment and Private Debt. With offices in Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, Milan, London, Zurich, Vienna and Luxembourg AXA Private Equity is committed to supporting companies in their long term growth by providing access to its international network. AXA Private Equity sets great store by the regularity and quality of its reporting on the performance of its funds and the performance of the companies in its portfolio, as a service to its investors.AXA Private Equity, Global Investments, the European way

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